bone cancer


my friend's mom was just diagnosed with bone cancer. she has a history of breast ca with mastectomy, chemo....and all of that not so fun stuff a couple years ago. i am again turning to all of you for you knowledge. so how bad is this? i was always taught that bone, liver, and brain were not good. am i correct? how much time do they give someone with this diagnosis? i know that everyone is different...yada, yada, yada...but a guesstimate will do. what sort of things should i tell my friend to ask about? i know some of you will ask for specifics, but i don't know anything but the diagnosis so far. my speciality is not oncology, so any advice will be greatly appreciated. :kiss


208 Posts

I am so sorry to hear about your friend's mom. Cancer is never a good thing and alot of variables will effect the outcome... expectancy of life ....hard to say.... I do know that when My friend was dx with bone cancer.... she died about 3 months in treatment... from complications with her Chemo..... It is hard to gage... but I will pray for you and your loved ones .....



44 Posts


I am so sorry to hear about your friend's mom.

Her prognosis is variable depending on what type of bone cancer she actually has. More than likely, given her history, she does not actually have bone cancer. Rather she has breast cancer that has metastasized to her bones. Either way, it's a long road.

If she does in fact have bone cancer, prognosis would depend on where it is, how extensive it is and whether or not it is resectable (read - amputation). Also whether it is an aggressive type or non aggressive type.

If she has breast cancer that has metastasized to her bones, she quite possibly has other mets also. Lung and brain would be the most likely "other" places. If this is the case then she is dealing with an aggressive disease. Depending on her age and her general health, I would advise seeking out a large medical center and seeing about getting her into a clinical trial of some sort.

You can also check out the nih/nci web site for ongoing clinical trials. I think it's, but I may be wrong. You should be able to find it on a search engine pretty easily.

Breast cancer is either relatively curable or a terrible disease, generally speaking. If she's having a recurrence, she's dealing with a tough disease. There are a lot of good existing protocols out there, but if it were my mom, I would get her into a study. We just don't know enough yet to get really good results with the protocols we have.

Good luck! Your friend and her mom will be in my prayers.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,838 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

Another oncology website I have used for years is Oncolink hosted by Univeristy of Pennsylvania's cancer center.

Sending healing thoughts your way.


73 Posts

I'd agree with the others that bone cancer is often not the diagnosis; rather, it may be another cancer that has metastisized to the bones. Either way (and its entirely possible that it is bone cancer, soley), she should receive adequate pain control. That can be achieved through radiation to bones or even as simple as an antiinflammatory-like ibuprofen). Who'd have thunk that something as innocuous as ibuprofen which you can get without a prescription-or another NSAID- (in addition to whatever analgesic she may require) could help pain from bone CANCER? Worth talking over with her oncologist, if it becomes an issue.

thanks for all of the replies. i have asked her about mets...brain, liver... so far everything looks okay. she just found out friday and the details that i have gotten so far is that it appears to be in one of her vertebrae. they aren't divulging many details...but i can't say i blame her. she needs to worry about herself rather than fill the millions of friends and family in on details. i will be sure to pass the webpages along. thanks guys are always so helpful.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse. sorry to hear about your friend's mother's health issues. I'm sure that every medical procedure possible will be tried to eradicate the much as possible...but one thing that is important to share with your friend is to encourage her and the family to give as much of their time to the Mother as they can -- emotionally -- and to allow her to be herself as much as possible without smothering her with sorrow or sad faces. Encourage your friend to make certain that Mom is exposed to positive thinkers, watches lots of funny-funny movies and T.V. shows (humor and laughter are excellent medicines for the mind, body, and soul), and cry with her WHEN she feels the need to cry, embracing her through it all.

I have seen HEALTHY relatives pass away before the relatives that were EXPECTED to die due to their terminal illness, so only God knows our time of death and what will take our life. :)

I lost an Auntie a few months ago who everyone expected to die from the breast cancer that she had been fighting. She was still getting radiation treatments for it when one morning she slipped and fell between the bathtub and toilet, went unconscious, and died several hours later at the hospital. That was a SHOCK to all of us. So...that's why it is important NOT to focus mainly on the disease process, but on living joyfully the life we have for tomorrow is promised to none of us. My prayers will be with the family and the MOM. :kiss

cheerfuldoer, her close family members have pretty much been with her constantly since then. when i said the statement about worrying about herself, i was including the family too. they are all pretty much in shock, i haven't really had much time to talk with her considering all the family time they are spending together. it's kind of sad tho, that something tragic is usually the reason that families spend time together. they should be able to enjoy one another healthy and not just when someone is sick.

thanks for the advice! you always have wonderful words of wisdom....whoever said you were wise beyond your years was right!

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Your welcome Shannon. I'll say a prayer for you too because I feel within me that you want to be with your friend during this awful time in her life and that of her mother's. That's a separate pain in and of itself...that emotional tugging at one's heart to somehow be able to BE THERE for our best buds when they are dealing with so much in their lives. Just keep letting your friend know each day that you want to be there for her when she needs you, and that she is very important to you. I'm sure you do this anyway, but sometimes people don't want to bother even their closest friend(s) with their problems for fear they are passing a burden onto them. Don't hold back with your friend...share your heart with her. You may be surprised at her reaction and her need for you too. Keep us posted if you are up to it. :kiss Have a great fourth of July! :balloons: :)

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,838 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

FOOD for thought.

In 1979, mother-in-law diagnosed with advanced Ovarian CA---given 2 weeks-3 months to live. Abdominal incision not expected to heal. Treatment: Two Catholic Charismatic Healing masses and 12 months of chemo.

Outcome: Died in 1989 one year after bone marrow depression DX due to chemo side effects. Was able to attend youngest granchilds first birthday (her bargain)-- passed three weeks later.

Learned TONS from this amazing lady.

i was able to spend some time with my girlfriend on the fourth....the docs say her mom has bone cancer in one of her vertebraes....yes, it is breast ca. but they say that all other tests are coming back negative for mets (mri, ugi...). she has had 2 radiation treatments so far and her spirits are good. :)

thanks again for all your helpful responses. you guys are awesome!:kiss

This topic is now closed to further replies.