Symptoms of bone metastasis include bone pain, leg weakness, broken bones and high levels of calcium in the blood. Some patients develop urinary or bowel incontinence, according to Mayo Clinic. The condition occurs when cancer spreads to the bones, possibly through the blood vessels. Unfortunately, bone metastasis is incurable.
While any cancer can spread to the bones, bone metastasis is more likely to occur with multiple myeloma, lymphoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer or kidney cancer. Cancer usually spreads to the pelvis or spine, reports Mayo Clinic.
Bone metastasis is diagnosed using an X-ray, bone scan, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. The condition is commonly managed via medications, including pain medication, hormone therapy, chemotherapy or bone-building medications. Some patients receive radiation treatment if medication is inadequate for the pain, notes Mayo Clinic.
In some cases, screws, nails, metal plates or cement can be used surgically to reinforce or repair particularly weak or broken bone, according to Mayo Clinic. Physical therapy can also be used to manage bone metastasis. Once diagnosed, patients can potentially live several years with bone metastasis. With a doctor's help, patients can often maintain daily routines during that time, reminds Mayo Clinic.