Symptoms and Treatment for Secondary Bone Cancer

Secondary bone cancer, also known as bone metastases, is the most common form of cancer in the skeleton and, in most cases, is a consequence of a primary tumor. That is, before the bones are affected, a malignant tumor has developed elsewhere in the body, such as the lung, prostate, kidneys, thyroid, bladder or stomach, and the cancer cells of the primary tumor travel to the bones through the blood. or lymph.

Secondary bone cancer can arise due to any type of tumor, but the types that are most likely to spread to the bones are the tumor in the breast, lung, prostate, kidney and thyroid.

In addition, secondary cancer in the bones usually has no cure, as it arises at a very advanced stage of the cancer, and its treatment is palliative, maintaining the patient's comfort to reduce malaise and pain.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of secondary bone cancer can be:

  • Pain in the bones, very intense during rest and especially at night, not being relieved by taking analgesics;
  • Difficulty moving;
  • Fever;
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason;
  • Pain in the muscles.

In addition to these symptoms, the occurrence of fractures without an apparent cause can also be suggestive of bone cancer, and should be investigated.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis of bone cancer is based on clinical history, physical examination and additional tests. Thus, radiography, tomography, magnetic resonance and bone scintigraphy can be indicated, which is an exam that allows the identification of metastases. Understand how the bone scan is done.

Treatment for secondary bone cancer

The treatment for secondary bone cancer is carried out by a multidisciplinary team, which must consist of an orthopedist, oncologist, general practitioner, psychologist, radiotherapist and nursing staff.

The main objective of the treatment is to treat primary cancer and prevent pathological fractures, which is why preventive surgery is often performed to prevent complications and improve the person's quality of life.