Metastatic Cancer to the Bone

Photographs courtesy of Martine Roudier These xrays show mice with two types of prostate cancer that has lodged in the bone. Above is a dense mass with very thick bone, called a "blastic" lesion. Below is a mass which has dissolved much of the bone, called a "lytic" lesion." Men who have prostate cancer can have both blastic and lytic lesions in different parts of their skeleton.

Many kinds of cancer can spread to the bone. The malignant cells are carried to the bone via the blood vessels, and they settle within the bone and grow. The pattern of growth depends on the kind of cancer, the kind of bone, and the health of the individual. Metastatic cancer to the bones is a serious problem, causing pain, fractures, and high blood calcium. Scientists and physicians are studying the factors that contribute to metatstatic cancer and are developing methods to prevent or treat the lesions.

This web page is still in progess and more details will be added about metastatic bone disease.

2004 by Susan Ott
Last update 9/25/04

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