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Signs and Symptoms of Bone Metastases

Signs and Symptoms of Bone Metastases

Sometimes they metastases in the bones in people with no symptoms when studies are performed to detect the spread of cancer.

Many of the symptoms listed above can also be caused by anything other than the spread of cancer to the bones. Still, it is very essential that you tell your physicians and nurses about any new symptoms such as those presented above. Finding and treating early bone metastases can help prevent further problems.


The bone pain is often the first sign that the cancer has spread to the bones. Often, the pain may come and go at first, and tends to worsen at night and relieved by movement. Later, it becomes constant and may worsen with activity.

It is essential to tell your doctor immediately if you have a new pain that could come from a bone. The bone may also be so weakened that it could break. This can usually be prevented if the bone metastasis is detected early. Your doctor will want to get an x-ray of the painful area and may use other imaging to detect changes. Other diseases such as bone infections, arthritis or just the intense activity can also cause bone pain.


Bones weakened from metastatic cancer can break (fracture). The fracture may occur with a fall or injury, but also a weak bone can fracture during daily activities. These fractures often cause severe and sudden pain. The pain can limit mobility. In some cases a fracture is the first sign of bone metastases.

Fractures occur most often in the long bones of the arms and legs, as well as the spine. Often, sudden pain in the middle of the back, for example, is a common symptom of a bone in the spine is fracturing and collapsing due to cancer.

Spinal cord compression

The growth of cancer in the bones of the spine can press on the spinal cord. This is called compression of the spinal cord and is very serious. The spinal cord has nerves that allow you to move and feel what happens to your body. Some of these nerves also control other functions, such as controlling the bladder and intestines.

One of the earliest symptoms is pain in the back or neck. The pressure on the spinal cord can cause damage to the nerves in the spinal cord, causing symptoms such as numbness and weakness in the area of ​​the body below the tumor. If this problem is not treated, the person may be paralyzed. More often, it affects the legs (so that the person cannot walk), but if the tumor is pressing on the spinal cord in the neck, both arms and legs are affected. Sometimes the first sign of pressure on the spinal cord that you can experience is difficulty urinating because nerves from the spinal cord control the bladder. You may also suffer more constipation (because the nerves of the spinal cord help move stools).

Compression of the spinal cord is an emergency that must be treated immediately to prevent permanent spinal cord injury and paralysis.

High levels of calcium in the blood

When cancer spreads to the bones, it can release calcium from the bones into the bloodstream. This can cause high levels of calcium in the blood which can cause problems, such as constipation, nausea, lack of appetite and thirsty. High levels of calcium cause you to urinate a lot, which causes dehydration. In addition, it can make you feel tired and weak. You may feel sleepy or even confusion. If hypocalcemia is not, you can even go into a coma.

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