Secondary bone cancer

Secondary bone cancer

This section helps you understand more about secondary bone cancer. It includes basic information about how secondary bone cancer is diagnosed and treated.

Learn more about:


The bones

A typical healthy adult has over 200 bones, which:

  • support and protect internal organs
  • are attached to muscles to allow movement
  • contain bone marrow, which produces and stores new blood cells
  • store proteins, minerals and nutrients, such as calcium.

The bones are made up of different parts, including a hard outer layer (known as cortical or compact bone) and a spongy inner core (known as trabecular or cancellous bone). Cartilage is the tough material at the end of each bone that allows one bone to move against another. This meeting point is called a joint. Bones have two types of cells – osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts create new bone and osteoclasts destroy old bone.


What is secondary bone cancer?

Bone cancer can start as either a primary or secondary cancer. The two types are different, and here we will focus on secondary bone cancer.

Primary bone cancer – This means that the cancer starts in the bone. For more information, download our Understanding Primary Bone Cancer fact sheet.

Secondary bone cancer – This means the cancer started in another part of the body, but has now spread (metastasised) to the bone. It may also be called bone metastases or bone mets.

Cancer cells often spread from the original (primary) cancer, through the bloodstream or lymph vessels, to bones in the spine, ribs and pelvis, or to the upper bones of the arms and legs.

Secondary cancer in the bone keeps the name of the original cancer. Because the cancer has spread, it is considered advanced or stage 4 cancer. For more on primary bone cancer, go here.


Which cancers spread to the bone?

Any type of cancer can spread to the bone. The cancers most likely to spread to the bone include prostate, breast, lung, kidney, thyroid and myeloma, a type of blood cancer.


What types are there?

There are two main types of secondary bone cancer:

Osteolytic

This means the bone has become damaged. In some cases, small holes form in the bone. These are known as lytic lesions, and can weaken the bone and increase the risk of breakage or other problems.

Osteoblastic

This means new bone is formed, but it grows abnormally, causing the bone to become weak and deformed.

Most people develop either osteolytic or osteoblastic changes, but some have both.


Who gets secondary bone cancer?

Secondary bone cancer is much more common than primary bone cancer in Australia. It is more common in adults than children.

The bone is one of the most common sites cancer spreads to, along with the lymph nodes, liver and lungs.


What are the risk factors?

Secondary bone cancer is always caused by cancer cells spreading to the bone from a primary cancer. It is not fully understood why some people develop secondary bone cancer and others don’t.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on Secondary Bone Cancer


    Understanding Secondary Bone Cancer

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Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in June 2018
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