Bone metastasis is not typically a positive diagnosis. A 2013 article in the Yonsei Medical Journal stated the survival estimate for breast cancer patients with bone-only metastasis after 10 years at 34.9 percent.
The American Cancer Society says that breast, prostate, lung, thyroid and kidney cancers are those most likely to spread to bone. WebMD explains that cancer spreads to bone when pieces of a tumor break off and enter the bloodstream or lymph system and then attach to bone. One reason bone metastasis can be difficult to treat is that bone marrow secretes the protein cytokine, which may attract more cancer cells to the bone and undermine treatments intended to slow cancerous growth, states WebMD.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America explains that treatment for cancers that have spread to bone focus on the need to slow or stop the spread of the cancer. The University of Rochester Medical Center outlines several potential treatments for bone metastasis. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for bone metastasis, and bisphosphonates and denosumab are two type of drugs used to slow the progression of cancer in bones. Radiation can be used in an attempt to kill cancer cells, and surgery to remove tumors from bones can sometimes be performed.