24th Oct, 2018
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Cancer is a systemic disease with tumors as a local manifestation of the disease. Once cancer occurs in a person, cancerous cells will be found in the body. Surgical removal of tumors in no way implies that one is cured of cancer. For example, breast cancer can relapse even if the original tumors were removed.Like hypertension and diabetes, cancer is a chronic disease. The disease may take a few years to manifest itself - from its occurrence until the emergence of tumors. In some cases, cancer cells may exist in a stage of ....
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What Symptoms Does A Lung Cancer Patient with Bone Metastasis Have? And How to Treat it?
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Lung cancer, one of the most common and lethal types of cancer, is rightly the number one cancer killer. When lung cancer patient develops to have bone metastasis, which means that it goes to the last stage and treatment effect would turn out to be relatively bad. Thus, once diagnosed with lung cancer, patients should receive doctor’s professional guidance and proper treatment that could help control the disease.



What Symptoms Does A Lung Cancer Patient with Bone Metastasis Have?


As a result of irritation and destruction caused by tumor to periosteum, pain is the most common symptom for lung cancer patients with bone metastasis. Pain is generally limited on the metastatic parts such as rib metastasis.  In some cases, patient may suffer breathing pain, neck pain, back pain and lumbar pain affected by vertebral metastasis, and throbbing pain in the corresponding vertebral bodies caused by head percussion.


Usually, pathologic fracture of this kind, differing from fracture caused by violence, features that it can be caused by mild external forces or even without any of them (spontaneous fracture). The main reason is the damage of bone substance. 80% of bone metastases of lung cancer are osteolytic destruction, which is commonly known that “bone is eaten off by tumor”. The imaging manifestation of bone metastasis is bony defect. In this case bone strength decreases significantly, the risk of fracture increases. Besides that, there is less than 20% of osteogenic destruction with mixed-type destruction. Patients with fracture may have activity restriction. And if it happened to be vertebral fracture unfortunately, then the patient even may be paralyzed and confined in bed.

How to Treat Bone Metastasis?

In the first place, if pain or fracture with unknown reason appears, it is important to do physical examinations such as X-ray, plain CT scan, MRI scan or ECT scan, PET-CT scan etc. to check skeletal system at once as to see whether it is bone metastasis or not and its type and severity.

1、Patients with multiple bone metastases in the whole body, especially those with other organ metastases,  should receive systemic treatments  such as chemotherapy or targeted treatment(with indications), or combined immunotherapy(with indications). Only when cancer is under control can bone destruction be effectively controlled.

2、Radionuclide therapy like strontium-89, applied for those patients with bone metastasis only---with or without obvious systemic bone pain, usually works well on cancer control and pain relief.


During the treatments mentioned above, diphosphonate for intravenous injection can also be administrated at the same time as to protect the bones and repair the bone destruction. It also has a definite analgesic effect.


In some cases, patients who have single or multiple bone metastases which cause severe pain or patients who have bone metastases in vital body parts such as vertebral metastasis that compresses spinal cord could receive radiotherapy which could effectively relieve the pain, control the tumor growth and decrease complications. As a kind of palliative treatments, usually it will be done about ten times with short duration and low cost.

5、 Pain management

Patients with systemic pain that could not be well controlled by those above-mentioned treatments should take proper and standard analgesics. As there are many pain management methods for drug addiction and declining in medical effects, so we don’t suggest patients to bear the pain reluctantly.  The side effects that pain may irritate could be more serious than the pain itself.

6、 Bone metastasis can cause hypercalcemia in some cases, so periodic blood calcium level test and medication are necessary. 

7、Treatment on hematopoietic inhibition

Sometimes bone marrow will be infiltrated by bone metastasis which could lead to hematopoietic dysfunction. In these cases, medication treatments that promote hemopoiesis should be used.

Generally lung cancer with bone metastasis is not lethal, which is different from other organ metastasis.  Patient could have less pain and improved life quality if they could comply actively with the treatments.


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