“Cancer has spread to my bones”

“Cancer has spread to my bones”

Breast Cancer Care’s experts answer your questions about breast cancer and its treatment

PiNK 2019 Winter p.13

My cancer has spread to my bones

Q: I’ve just been told my breast cancer has spread to the bone. Can it be treated and, if so, what treatment will i need? 

A: When cancer spreads to the bone, it’s often called secondary breast cancer in the bone. It can be treated (often for many years). Treatments can slow down the growth of the cancer and help improve any symptoms. the treatment you’re offered will depend on a number of things. These include the type of breast cancer you originally had, treatments you’ve had in the past or were on wen the secondary breast cancer was diagnosed, your symptoms and your general health.

If you have a type of cancer that is stimulated to grow by oestrogen – known as oestrogen receptor positive – it”s likely you’ll be offered hormone (endocrine) therapy. This may be a drug you’ve already had or a different one.

Radiotherapy is often used to reduce pain, and a group of drugs called bisphosphonates can help strengthen bones and reduce the damage cancer can cause. Chemotherapy, targeted (biographical) therapies and surgery may also be used.