Cancer can make bones brittle

As the head of the specialist speech and the tumor bone metastases at the Freiburg University Clinic, Dr. Please familiarize the complaint well and report on the problems of the affected persons. The physician also knows the treatment options and knows that the patient can often be helped today. Not infrequently, the removal of tumors can be achieved again by an operative removal of the metastases and the metastases can be at least controlled, even if healing is no longer possible, in order to maintain or, if necessary, improve the quality of life, the expert explains.

Frequently, bone metastases develop in the case of cancer, resulting in a weakening of the bone structure.(Picture: fotoliaxrender / fotolia.com) Bone metastases often develop in the case of cancer, leading to a weakening of the bone structure.(Picture: fotoliaxrender / fotolia.com)

Bone pain can be an indication
Bone metastases occur in approximately one in two patients, for example, as a dissection of breast, prostate or lung tumors, according to the Freiburg University Hospital. Basically almost all tumors are capable of forming bone metastases, emphasizes Dr. Herget. These are often found in routine tests on metastases, which are intended for all tumor patients."In people who have been diagnosed with cancer in the past, bone pain is a possible indication of a metastasis," says Herget. According to the expert, sufferers often report discomfort in the hip or spine. In contrast to the complaints in the widespread degenerative skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis, the complaints were initially often found in resting position and only later under stress.

Bone fractures a possible result
If there is a corresponding pain in patients with tumor disease, it should be clarified at the latest after two or three weeks of ongoing complaints, Dr. Dr. Herget. Also, bone fractures may be an indication of the formation of bone metastases, the expert continued. According to Herget, fractures which occur without or by slight influence, for example because the person has encountered, are suspicious. These are referred to as so-called pathological fractures in the professional world, explains the physician. The degradation and conversion of the bone substance during the formation of metastases produces instability, which can eventually lead to a fracture.

Diagnosis of Bone Metastases
If patients with suspected bone metastases are included in the examination, radiographs or computer tomography are usually performed. A so-called skeletal scintigraphy can also be used for diagnosis. In this case a substance accumulates in the region of the metastatically affected bone;it is then possible to identify possible metastases on a whole body image, "explains Dr. Herget. Other diagnostic methods are magnetic resonance tomography and biopsies( sampling of tissue samples), and other methods can also be used, depending on the patient's individual symptoms.

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Therapy should be given mobility
If an operative distance is determined, surgical removal is foreseen, but not for all affected personscan be carried out. If a cure is no longer possible in this way, according to the expert, there are still many options to maintain or restore the quality of life of those affected. For example, a bone fracture can be caused by a preventive operation, or the metastases can be locally controlled in addition to the drug therapy by irradiation, reports Dr. Herget. In terms of quality of life, it is above all necessary to maintain mobility.

Not necessarily restricted to life
According to the physician, conservative procedures, such as a corset to support and protect brittle bones, may also be helpful. Because patients are less afraid of physical activity. Last but not least, it should be noted that in addition to serious cases, there are also findings in which the bone metastases do not have a direct consequence on the way of life. According to the expert, these activities, such as cycling and hiking, are often feared.(fp)

Bone metastases frequent consequence in cancer diseases
Many cancer patients develop so-called bone metastases in the course of the disease, which can weaken their bone skeleton and bring further complaints with them. For those affected, however, there is often the possibility of a therapeutic treatment, which - unlike a 15-year period ago - can also lead to tumors, the University Clinic Freiburg reports. The senior physician at the Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery of the Freiburg University Hospital, Dr. Georg Herget, explains in a current press release the consequences of bone metastases for the affected patients and the possible treatment options.

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