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Breast cancer bone metastasis prognosis

Updated February 21, 2019

Recurring breast cancer can sometimes spread to your bones. A long-term study conducted by the by the Hacettepe University Institute of Oncology in Turkey on 141 women with breast cancer and bone metastasis found that the median survival rate was two years, according to ascopubs.org. However, there are preventive measures and treatment options which give you a better chance of survival.

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Risk Factors

According to the Bone and Cancer Foundation, up to 20 per cent of breast cancer survivors will relapse within 10 years. 70 per cent of such women will experience bone metastasis.


When breast cancer spreads to your bones, it makes them thin and brittle. As a result, your bones may be in pain or even break. According to the Bone and Cancer Foundation, your ribs, legs, spine, hips, and arms are the most susceptible to bone metastasis.


If your breast cancer returns after remission, your oncologist will likely perform tests to detect bone metastasis. Tests include blood work, a bone scan, an x-ray, a CAT scan, an MRI, or a PET scan. The Bone and Cancer Foundation recommends that you be tested for bone loss every one to two years during breast cancer treatment.


Breast cancer that has spread to one location is treated with radiation. If the cancer is in several bones, your oncologist may administer chemotherapy or hormonal treatment.


Early detection and treatment is vital for breast cancer and bone metastasis survival. Calcium supplements may slow bone loss as well as prescription medications like Boniva, Actonel, Flosamax, Zometa, Aredia, and Reclast.

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About the Author

Kristeen Cherney began writing healthy lifestyle and education articles in 2008. Since then, her work has appeared in various online publications, including Healthline.com, Ideallhealth.com and FindCollegeInfo.com. Cherney holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English.

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