Multiple bone metastases: what the palliative care specialist should know about the potential, limitations and practical aspects of radiation therapy
Bone metastases represent a significant health care problem in the cancer population. The most common symptom for bone metastases is pain. Bone metastases may also cause pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression, cauda equina compression and serum calcium disorders. This review article summarizes the epidemiology, diagnostic modalities, role for radiation, and future directions as it pertains to bone metastases. Radiotherapy is an effective and standard modality for the treatment of painful complicated and uncomplicated bony metastases. Further strategies are needed to optimize pain relief, quality of life and survival in the bone metastases cancer population.