- What is metastasis?
- What are the key statistics about bone metastases?
- What are the risk factors for bone metastases?
- Do we know why cancers metastasize to bones?
- Can bone metastases be prevented?
- Signs and symptoms of bone metastases
- How are bone metastases diagnosed?
- How are bone metastases treated?
- Systemic treatments for bone metastases
- Local treatments for bone metastases
- Pain medicines for bone metastases
- Clinical trials for bone metastases
- Complementary and alternative therapies for bone metastases
- Treating problems caused by bone metastases
- More treatment information about bone metastases
- What should you ask your doctor about bone metastases?
- Other things to consider
- Additional resources for bone metastases
- References: Bone Metastases
What are the risk factors for bone metastases?
A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease. Simply having cancer is a risk factor for bone metastases. Still, some people with cancer develop bone metastases and others do not. Doctors can’t predict for certain who will develop bone metastases. But they do know that certain kinds of cancer (breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, and kidney cancers) are more likely to spread to bones than others.
Among people with the same kind of cancer, tumors that are larger and have already spread to lymph nodes are generally more likely to spread to bone. For some kinds of cancer, a high grade (where the cancer cells look very abnormal under a microscope) and certain genetic changes make the cancer more likely to spread to bones.
Having a cancer that’s found after it has spread to other organs raises your risk of bone metastases. Finding cancer early (when it’s small) often means it has not yet had a chance to spread. This can give a person a better chance of successful treatment and a lower risk of future metastases.
Last Medical Review: 02/07/2014
Last Revised: 02/17/2014