Metastatic Bone Disease
Metastatic bone disease refers to cancer which has spread (metastasised) to the bones from a primary cancer elsewhere in the body. It is a common complication in cancer patients, particularly if the disease is in the advanced stages. It differs from primary bone cancer in that it develops from the spread of a tumour elsewhere in the body rather than originating from the bone itself; primary bone cancer is significantly rarer than metastatic bone disease.
Cancer can cause destruction to the bone as it spreads (osteolysis). This results in small holes in the bone (osteolytic lesions) which cause pain and weakness, increasing the risk of fracture and other problems. As cancer spreads to the marrow of the bones and affects the production of blood cells and platelets, it becomes more difficult for the body to remain healthy.