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Bone mets

Deb J.

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My fathers latest bone scan showed three new areas of bone mets: Spine, knee and femur. The doctor indicated to my dad he would stay on the Tarceva, and didnt say anything about radiation to these spots. I'm waiting for the onc to call me back with more info. Can anyone tell me if radiation is typically used for bone mets?

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I think radiation is used if they are painful and also to help prevent factures and promote healing of fractures. You can ask about a referal to a radiation oncologist for an opinion.

Remember that radiation is only a local treatment and since the cancer has spread some Drs feel that a systemic treatment such as tarceva or chemo should be used. Radiation would be used more for pain relief or to help if fractures appear versus as a way to cure the cancer.

I think the spine met had to watched carefully since it can lead to compression of the spine

Biphosphonates such as zometa or aredia are often given for bone metastasis

found this on the web

Using the most advanced radiation technology currently available in the region, neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia have for the first time wrapped beams of radiation around a patient's spine, relieving pain from several cancerous tumors there while avoiding the spinal cord.

The technology, called shaped beam surgery, relies on sophisticated computers to tailor the shape and intensity of radiation beams to fit the exact size and shape of the tumor - all while sparing healthy tissue. It enables doctors to treat a range of hard-to-reach benign and malignant tumors in the brain and spine they couldn't treat before, often avoiding invasive surgery and speeding the patient's recovery.

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John is right. Radiation on bone mets is used if there is severe pain in the area and/or if there is threat of fracture to the bone. Otherwise, chemo is normally used. Lucie had five different areas of bone mets at diagnosis -- skull, rib, hip, fibula (leg) and upper spine. The hip and spine mets were radiated because of severe pain and to prevent further damage. The fibula was radiated because of threat of fracture (no pain). The skull and rib were left to the chemo treatment. All treatments worked.

She has since had bone mets to the sacrum, rib, skull and fibula. Skull and fibula were in same areas as before. The sacrum (pain), skull (threat to brain), rib (pain), and fibula (pain and threat to fracture) were all radiated with success. She has had other rib mets that were left to chemo because there was no pain or threat to fracture.

Best wishes. Don

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