What is Bone Metastasis?
Bone metastases, also known as “metastatic bone disease” or “secondary bone cancer”, are the type of metastases that spreads from the primary tumor site to the bones. Nearly all types of cancer can spread to the bones but the most common types are prostate, breast, and lung cancers. Bone cancer and bone metastases are different from each other, bone metastases are more common than bone cancer and are harder or impossible to treat.
Treatment for bone metastasis is based on increasing the life quality of the individuals. With the treatment, the individuals may live longer and feel better.
The main factor that causes bone metastasis is the microenvironment of the existing tumor. The tumor invades and grows in bones.
What are the Symptoms of Bone Metastases?
Bone pain is generally the first symptom of bone metastases. In the early stages, the pain may come and go. The pain is worse at night and usually gets better with movement. As the bone metastases get worse the pain becomes constant.
The bone might be so weak that it will break. This can often be prevented if bone metastasis is found early.
When cancer grows in the bones it might press on the spinal cord which causes spinal cord compression. When the existence of cancer, both pain in the back or neck, has to be watched and treated, to prevent the individual become paralyzed.
Other common signs and symptoms of spinal cord compression during bone metastases include;
- Back pain,
- Leg weakness,
- Numbness in the belly and/or legs,
- Urine control problems
As cancer spreads to the bones, hypercalcemia might occur which means there is too much calcium in the bloodstream.
High blood calcium levels cause some problems such as;
- Muscle weakness,
- Muscle and joint aches,
- Kidney failure.
Individuals with high blood calcium levels might feel sluggish or sleepy.
Treatments for Bone Metastases in Turkey (Türkiye)
Bone metastasis treatment in Turkey includes; pain management, radiation, surgery, and medical. Treatment options depend on the type of cancer, where it is located, the metastasis, and the overall health of the individual.
Most physicians plan the treatment directed against primary cancer and believe that if primary cancer can be controlled then the bone metastasis can also be taken under control.
Pain management therapy is one of the most important parts of bone metastases treatment. There are several types of drugs or drug combinations. To provide relief the physician may combine pain management therapy with surgery, radiation, or other treatments
Radiation therapy, which is known as radiotherapy, is a strong option that uses high-energy rays to injure or destroy cancer cells in the bone. Radiotherapy also helps to reduce bone pain and bone fractures.
Surgery, if it is possible, is another treatment option for bone metastasis. According to the location and size of the bone metastasis tumor, surgery may be planned to remove all or part of the tumor.
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that are used in the treatment of osteoporosis and similar bone diseases. Bisphosphonates are also used in the treatment of bone metastases. The role of bisphosphonates in the treatment of bone metastases is to decrease the risk of fractures and pain.
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