Chemotherapy. If cancer has spread to multiple bones, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy. Chemotherapy travels throughout your body to fight cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be taken as a pill, administered through a vein or both.
Treatments are often very effective in stopping the growth or decreasing the size of cancerous deposits in the bones. Current treatments are not usually able to completely remove all cancer cells from the bones.
Most patients with metastatic bone disease survive for 6-48 months. In general, patients with breast and prostate carcinoma live longer than those with lung carcinoma. Patients with renal cell or thyroid carcinoma have a variable life expectancy.
Drugs to treat bone metastases. The drugs used most often for treating bone problems in people with bone metastases are the bisphosphonate drugs pamidronate (Aredia) and zoledronic acid (Zometa) and the drug denosumab (Xgeva). These drugs are given intravenously (IV or into a vein) or subcutaneously (under the skin).
With rare exceptions, cancer that has spread to the bones can't be cured. Treatments can help reduce pain and other symptoms of bone metastases.
Likewise, metastatic bone cancer, also called stage 4 bone cancer, forms in the bone and spreads to other areas of the body.
Major morbidities associated with bone metastases include severe pain, hypercalcemia, bone fractures, spinal compression fractures, and cord or nerve root compression.
Stage 4 bone cancer
This is the most advanced form of the disease. In stage 4, the cancer has spread beyond the bone to other areas of the body. For bone cancer, staging also takes into account how abnormal the cells look under the microscope (the grade).
About one-third of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S. live at least 5 years after diagnosis . Some women may live 10 or more years beyond diagnosis .
Tumours are generally incurable once they have metastasized to bone. Devastating consequences of bone metastases include pathological bone fractures, pain, hypercalcaemia, and spinal cord and nerve-compression syndromes1.
Not usually. Though some people will die of bone cancer, many others will make a full recovery. The five-year relative survival rate for bone cancer is 66.8%. This means that 66.8% of people with bone cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis.
Metastatic breast cancer may never go away completely. But treatment can control its spread. Cancer may even go into remission at some points. This means you have fewer signs and symptoms of cancer.
What is the metastatic cancer survival rate? The five-year survival rate of metastatic cancer depends on the type of cancer you have. For example, the five-year survival rate for metastatic lung cancer is 7%. This means that 7% of people diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer are still alive five years later.
Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may help shrink bone metastases and relieve symptoms such as pain. It may be an option if there are several areas of bone metastases and the cancer is likely to respond to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is used to treat many types of metastatic cancer.
Localized bone cancer means the cancer is only in the bone where it started and has not spread to other parts of the body. It includes stages 1, 2 and 3. Metastatic bone cancer means the cancer has spread to another part of the body, such as the lungs. This is stage 4.
The skeleton is the third most common site of metastatic disease after lung and liver. Most bone metastases originate from the breast, prostate or lung although kidney and thyroid tumors can metastasize to bone as well.
Pain is the most common symptom of bone metastasis. It's often the first symptom you notice.
Until recently, long-term survivors of advanced or metastatic cancer have primarily been women with metastatic breast cancer. But doctors are now seeing survivors with other types of cancer, including lung, gastrointestinal, kidney cancer, and melanoma.
The clinical trial findings suggest radiation oncologists may play a valuable role in treating widespread bone metastases even in the absence of symptoms. Palliative radiation has historically focused on reducing existing pain and other symptoms when a patient's cancer is no longer considered curable.
Symptoms and diagnosis of bone metastasis
A sudden, noticeable new pain is the most common symptom of breast cancer that has spread to the bone. The pain may come and go at first but can become constant over time. It can be hard to tell the difference between bone metastasis pain and arthritis pain or exercise strain.
The 5-year relative survival rate for women with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S. is 30%. The 5-year survival rate for men with metastatic breast cancer is 19%. The survival rates for metastatic breast cancer vary based on several factors.
In the past, many people did not live long with metastatic cancer. Even with today's better treatments, recovery is not always possible. But doctors can often treat cancer even if they cannot cure it. A good quality of life is possible for months or even years.
In some situations, metastatic cancer can be cured. But for most metastatic cancers, treatment does not cure the cancer but it can slow its growth and reduce symptoms. It is possible to live for many months or years with certain types of cancer, even after the development of metastatic disease.