Secondary bone cancer is actually a metastasis of some other type of cancer. The metastases present in bone points to the advanced stage of the disease. Certain types of cancer tend to give bone metastases. They include breast cancer, prostatic cancer, and lung cancer. There are several treatment modalities that can help with the symptoms of secondary bone cancer. However, there is no cure for it and the patients with metastases in bones have poor prognosis. The spine and pelvic bones are mostly affected. Still the cancer cells may spread to every bone in the body.
Symptoms of Secondary Bone Cancer
The symptoms of the secondary bone cancer are exactly the same as in the primary disease. Pain is severe and it only intensifies. The painkillers may be helpful in the beginning but at some point the effect vanishes and the pain cannot be controlled unless the strong pain killers such as opoids are used. There are two types of bone lesions, sclerotic and lytic. Lytic forms are followed with severe pain as the bone in this case is being destroyed.
Pathological fracture is another symptom. They mostly develop in cases of lytic metastases. If metastases are present in the vertebra they may lead to fracture of vertebra and pressure onto the spinal nerves which consequently results in paralysis. Progression of the cancer into the bone marrow may lead to abnormalities of all blood cells.
Treatment of Secondary Bone Cancer
There are several treatment modalities in case of secondary bone cancer.Radiation TherapyRadiation therapy is highly effective in recalcification of bones and the pain is slowly reduced. It can be performed as 3-D conformal radiotherapy where the radiation affects only the tumor. This way the surrounding tissue and organs are spared. External beam radiation therapy uses linear accelerators. In this case the surrounding tissues is also included in the field that is irradiated and cannot be spared. Intensity modulate radiation therapy is the most advanced and efficient kind of radiotherapy available in not so many countries. And finally tomotherapy can be used in those tumors that are rather small and not so easy to be detected.ChemotherapeuticsChemotherapy is another treatment modality in case of secondary bone cancer. The chemotherapy is given in a fractionated regime where the normal dose is divided into smaller ones and given in a period of three to five days.Biotherapy This treatment modality utilizes immune system of the patient in battle against the disease. BiphosphonatesBisphosphonates are highly potential medications that prevent bone loss. They can alter the progression of bone metastases in more than a few forms of cancer. They are most efficient in case of breast cancer.Alternative TherapiesApart from the prescribed therapeutically regimes a patient needs to eat properly in order to avoid undernourishment. Some food may also be helpful in fight against the side effects of the basic therapy. The support of the family and the closest ones is also essential in the battle against this vicious disease.