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New dx IV with mets to spine and hip. What can be expctd?


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Hi, everybody--

Thank you for your warm welcome to this board.

My fiancee is really confused/scared about what mets to the bone actually means.

Right now he is trying to just spend as much "quality" time (watching funny movies, seeing friends, doing projects together) with his mom before she starts treatment--and my "job" (and natural bent) is to do what "research" I can and pass the information on to him so that they can ask the doctors more informed questions.

Is it posible that mets to the bone can be *eradicated* or is treatment simply "pallitiave"? Or is it somewhere in-between (trying to keep it stagnant)? I have read on this board that mets to the liver seems to heal in cases, but I know that the liver has such wonderful powers of regeneration. Bone, I'm sure, is a seperate case entirely. And I have read that it provides the cancer with a lot of what it needs to proliferate.

We are under the assumption that surgery to the spine/hip is not an option for mets to the bone. Would they ever consider a hip replacement for someone with mets to the hip?

We are also assuming that lung surgery is not an option for people with mets to the bone, based on the research we've done. Why exactly is that? Why don't they operate on the primary site (the lung) after an initial round of radiation/chemo/drugs to attack the bone mets? I'm sure there's a good reason, but to those of us who just learned about this whole darm dx on Friday 3/12/04--it seems like leaving a tumor in her lung/nodes is just a yet another ticking time bomb.

Most of the research I've done over the weekend on lc with mets to the bone was superficial. Frustrating.

Also, what side effects may be coming our way (bone pain to be treated be drugs--what drugs?)? Trying to avoid fractues and hypercalcimia. Anything else? Right now she has NO bone pain, whatsoever. No pain at all, in fact, except that she is tired from excessive coughing and she is hoarse. And scared by this mack-truck that just smacked into her last week.

Any insight would be most welcome.

Don, you sound like you may know a great deal about this.



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Although I don't have any answers for you on the bone mets questions, I can tell you that the reason they don't operate to take out the lung tumor is because (this is what my dr. told me) if they can't get ALL of the cancer out with the surgery, then it is not worth the risks. In other words, if they operated to take out the lung tumor, your future mother-in-law would still have lung cancer - in her bones.

I think some on this site have had radiation for the bone mets and hopefully they can help you more than I can.

I know you are new to all of this and it can be quite overwhelming, but you have come to the right place to get information and support.

Good Luck.


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