Bone metastases – multiple reasons
Bone metastases (daughter tumors) form from the cancer cells of the underlying malignant tumor. The spread occurs via the blood. In particular, the skeletal regions with a good blood supply, such as the spine or the pelvis, are affected. The most common causes of bone metastases are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, and renal cell cancer.
are often metastasized
are mostly located in the breast, prostate, lungs and thyroid gland
Source: German Cancer Society
Where can you have bone metastases treated?
Bone metastases arise from cells of the original tumor. Since certain tumor cells respond better to some forms of therapy, it is first important to determine the primary tumor. As soon as the necessary examinations have been carried out, our radiotherapy specialists can work out a suitable treatment plan together with the attending physician.
Feel free to contact our Team of Radiologie München and make an appointment at a location that is easy for you to reach.
How are bone metastases treated?
Treatment of bone metastases depends in part on the primary tumor. However, its type and stage is not the sole deciding factor in therapy. In addition, the number, size, and spread of metastases to the bones and spine play a critical role.
Possible bone damage and the patient’s general health must also be taken into account. Since a complete cure is rarely possible with this diagnosis, therapy can also serve to relieve discomfort and pain and slow the progression of the disease.
Whether surgery is reasonable and feasible must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Surgical interventions are considered when bone fractures are imminent or already present. Splints can be used to stabilise unstable bones and reduce pain. Removing individual metastases in the spine can relieve pressure on nerve cords and the spinal cord to counteract pain and possible paralysis. In many cases, however, surgery is not performed because these procedures can be stressful for the patient. Complications are also possible and, as an additional problem, wound and bone healing is reduced.
Chemotherapy is useful when metastases are from cancers that have been shown to respond to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs (cytostatics) that inhibit cell growth. The goal is to reduce the enlargement and spread of metastases.
Radiation is used in the treatment of single, localized metastases. In this percutaneous radiotherapy, the metastasis is irradiated from the outside through the skin with high-energy radiation (teletherapy). Since the method can be used in a very targeted manner, it plays a crucial role in pain therapy.
The aim of the radiation method is to destroy cancer cells in a targeted manner. In this way, the tumors are reduced in size or destroyed completely, which leads to a reduction in discomfort and pain and thus to an increase in the quality of life.
Anti-hormone therapy acts primarily on cancer cells that grow hormone-dependent. These include breast cancer, cancer of the body of the uterus, or prostate cancer, since their growth depends on estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. This method suppresses the effect of these hormones and thus limits tumor growth.
Bisphosphonates are drugs that interfere with the metabolism of bones. They strengthen bone mineralization and protect bones from destruction due to growing metastases. This relieves pain and can prevent osteoporosis.
What is the treatment process in our practices?
What do you need to pay attention to before, during and after treatment?
Bone metastases usually indicate an advanced stage of cancer. However, it is critical for treatment and prognosis that bone metastases are detected as early as possible. Modern treatment methods can inhibit the growth and spread of the tumors in the body at an early stage and thus also relieve pain.
For this reason, in addition to early detection, follow-up care is also elementary. At regular follow-up, the body is scanned with the help of a CT and/or MRI and the body is examined oncologically. The conversation with the patient allows the doctor to draw conclusions about the general health condition and possible changes. In this way, in the event of a relapse (recurrence), it is possible to react quickly and accurately. In cases of pain, medication adjustment or follow-up treatment can often provide relief and, therefore, a better quality of life.
What are the side effects of bone metastases treatment?
Radiation therapy of the bone is usually very well tolerated by patients. Depending on the number and size of the bones treated, it may be necessary to have regular blood count checks. We will inform you about possible individual side effects during the initial consultation.