WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP PREVENT SERIOUS BONE PROBLEMS FROM BONE METASTASES

Bone metastases are especially common in breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, and kidney cancer.1 If you have one of these types of solid tumor cancers, it’s important for you to be informed and proactive about your bone health.

TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR RISK OF BONE METS

Because bone mets are more common with certain types of cancer, be sure to ask your doctor about your individual risk for bone mets. Early discussion about bone mets is important so you can take steps to prevent serious bone problems.1 Serious bone problems are defined as broken bones (fractures), a need for surgery to prevent or repair broken bones, a need for radiation treatments to the bone, or pressure on the spinal cord (spinal cord compression).2

monitoring for bone metastases

STAY CURRENT WITH MONITORING FOR BONE METS

If you have cancer, sometimes bone mets can be diagnosed before they cause any symptoms. Your doctor may schedule periodic imaging tests, such as x-rays and bone scans, as well as blood tests to see how far your cancer has spread.1

signs of symptoms
IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE
OPEN AND HONEST TALKS
WITH YOUR DOCTOR1
 

WATCH FOR SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SERIOUS BONE PROBLEMS

In addition to regular testing and monitoring for bone mets, you should be aware of possible signs or symptoms associated with serious bone problems. These symptoms may be caused by something other than a serious bone problem, but you should tell your doctor right away if you experience a new symptom. These symptoms may indicate the need for urgent medical care.1,2

  • Bone pain
  • Severe back pain
  • Numbness or weakness in parts of your body
  • Any bladder problems, such as trouble urinating or loss of bladder control
  • Any loss of bowel control
IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE OPEN AND HONEST TALKS WITH YOUR DOCTOR.1
 

ASK ABOUT BONE PROTECTION BEFORE SERIOUS BONE PROBLEMS HAPPEN

If you have bone mets from a solid tumor cancer, you may want to consider medicine options to help protect your bones. These medicines work to slow down the bone damage caused by cancer and lower the risk of serious bone problems. Serious bone problems are defined as broken bones (fractures), a need for surgery to prevent or repair broken bones, a need for radiation treatments to the bone, or pressure on the spinal cord (spinal cord compression).1,2

Ask your doctor about your treatment options and about the risks and benefits of treatment. Risks of treatment include low blood calcium that may be life-threatening, severe jaw bone problems, unusual thigh bone fractures, and possible harm to your unborn baby.1

ask your doctor

DON’T WAIT FOR BONE PAIN

If you have bone mets, don’t wait for bone pain before asking your doctor about steps for preventing serious bone problems. In some cases, a broken bone is the first sign of bone mets.1 So remember, bone pain is not always a reliable predictor of the risk for serious bone problems.3

REFERENCES:
  1. American Cancer Society. Bone metastasis. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003087-pdf.pdf. Revised February 17, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2015.
  2. American Cancer Society. Advanced cancer. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003082-pdf.pdf. Revised March 6, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2015.
  3. Saad F, Eastham J. Zoledronic Acid improves clinical outcomes when administered before onset of bone pain in patients with prostate cancer. Urology. 2010;76:1175-1181.