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Bone Metastases From Advanced Cancers

Margaret Fitch
Cathy Maxwell
Claire Ryan
Helen Löthman
Lawrence Drudge-Coates
Luis Costa
CJON 2009, 13(6), 701-710 DOI: 10.1188/09.CJON.701-710

Bone metastases are associated with considerable morbidity and can result in skeletal-related events (SREs), including pathologic fractures, the need for palliative radiotherapy, spinal cord compression, the need for surgery to bone to prevent or treat a pathologic fracture or spinal cord compression, and hypercalcemia of malignancy. Such SREs have been associated with decreases in survival and increases in healthcare costs. Skeletal morbidity and bone pain from metastases can also reduce patients' functional capacity and undermine their quality of life. Patients who develop bone metastases from advanced cancers commonly receive bisphosphonates to not only delay the onset of SREs and reduce their frequency but also provide clinically meaningful palliative effects for bone pain. Ongoing research may lead to improvements in skeletal health monitoring and management for patients with malignant bone disease.

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