When cancer that began somewhere else in the body (the primary site) spreads to the bones, this is known as bone metastases. According to the National Cancer Institute, a large percentage of people with certain cancers will develop a bone cancer over the course of their lifetime, including:
- 45 percent of patients with breast cancer
- 30-40 percent of patients with lung, thyroid and kidney cancer
- 50 percent of patients with prostate cancer
A metastatic cancer can spread to the bones in two ways. As cancer tumors grow, they can break down barriers into the blood system. Pieces of the tumor can break off, get into the blood stream and become deposited in bone. Alternatively, primary-site cancer can become metastatic by spreading locally. The cancer spreads from its original point to invade surrounding tissues. Bone metastases can cause a variety of debilitating symptoms, such as localized pain or even widespread paralysis.
Once cancer has spread to the bone, it can be very difficult to completely cure. However, significant advances in the treatment of complex cancers like metastatic bone cancer make it possible to treat the disease more like a chronic condition than a terminal illness.
Experts in Bone Metastases
The UC Health Bone Metastases service includes a team of experienced medical and surgical specialists from many fields. We know that each patient faces different challenges and potential outcomes. Our multidisciplinary team collaborates to provide patients with all of the options to aggressively attack this cancer – from advanced surgical interventions to radiation therapy and integrative oncology approaches.
The UC Health Bone Metastases service includes physicians in the following specialties:
- Radiation oncology
- Orthopedic surgery
- Medical oncology
- Nuclear medicine
After imaging and testing have been completed, our team recommends a treatment plan for each patient’s individual situation. We may also discuss a case at our tumor board, where specialists from many areas review complex cases and recommend treatment options.
When patients come to UC Health for bone metastases treatment, we provide an orthopaedic review of films, a proactive measure that can help avoid painful conditions in the future. We also help with pain management, fracture prevention and improved function and can treat complex fractures, perform joint replacement surgeries and manage complications.
Leaders in Medicine and Science
As a part of a well-respected academic institution, the UC Health Cancer Institute’s Bone Metastases service provides the latest treatment developments. With our focus on research, we quickly apply the constant evolution of knowledge in treatment to our patients we are caring for today. Our physicians are involved in national clinical trials working to improve treatment options and outcomes, as well as other research initiatives.
Serving Patients Outside of Cincinnati
The team at UC Health is committed to collaborating with the local resources that are available in your home community for the treatment of your bone metastases. Patients from outlying areas can come to UC Health for highly specialized services in as few visits as necessary and return home for ongoing radiation treatments, if available. Our team works closely with the patient, family and the patient’s referring physician to help move the patient back into their home community for an easier recovery process.