Renal Cell Cancer Bone Metastasis

In a previous blog, we discussed prostate cancer bone metastasis, which occurs when prostate cancer metastasizes in an area of bone. To accompany that blog, we’ll now discuss Renal Cell Cancer bone metastasis, which is similar in many ways to its prostate cancer counterpart but also differs in some significant aspects.

As always, this information is meant to be purely educational and is no substitute for tangible medical advice. If you or a loved one is suffering from Renal Cell Cancer and is concerned about the possibility of bone metastasis, consult your specialists immediately.

What is Renal Cell Cancer Bone Metastasis?

Renal Cell Cancer bone metastasis occurs when Renal Cell Cancer spreads from the kidneys to the bones. Approximately 33% of those suffering from advanced Renal Cell Cancer will eventually develop bone metastasis. 


What are the Symptoms and When Does it Occur?

The most common symptoms include pain and swelling in a bone, and occurs most commonly with advanced Renal Cell Cancer. Additionally, tests may reveal increased calcium in the blood, known as hypercalcemia, which can be dangerous.


What Effect Does Renal Cell Cancer Bone Metastasis Have on Bones?

Bones are weakened by the cancer, making fractures more likely to occur. With the underlying bone being weak, these fractures can happen more easily than usual. Even otherwise mild injury or trauma may result in pathological fracture. 


What Treatment is Required if a Fracture Occurs?

While it depends on the location of the fracture, surgery is often required to repair the fracture. The aim is to preserve the ability to walk and function as well as possible. Upper extremity fractures may call for surgery, but not quite as often. If a fracture or bone destruction occurs around a joint as a result of metastasis, joint replacement may be the best option. Regardless of the surgical procedure, the injury will likely require physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. 


Can Anything be Done to Prevent Fractures?

Yes, in some cases if a large tumor is discovered by a surgeon, they will affix specialized hardware to prevent fracture. This is called prophylactic fixation. Bones that are not as easily reinforced with hardware may be injected with bone cement, which can reduce pain and stabilize the bone. 

Other treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation, or medications that strengthen the bone.

Additionally, there are many resources online that discuss the steps one can take to maintain the greatest possible bone health while undergoing Renal Cell Cancer treatment. While this will not prevent bone metastasis, it may help prevent injury. 


What is the Appropriate Treatment for Renal Cell Cancer Bone Metastasis?

We encourage any patient with a painful metastatic tumor to have themselves evaluated by an orthopedic oncology specialist, like the team at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics. We have the expertise to treat bone metastasis through minimally invasive, advanced treatments tailored to suit each patient’s unique needs. The goal of treatment is to return the patient to maximum pain-free activities as quickly as possible.

While Renal Cell Cancer bone metastasis may be a concerning diagnosis, treatment for these tumors has advanced rapidly over the past decade. Your team at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics is here to provide insight, support, and innovative treatment strategies to equip you or your loved one to return to function promptly. Reach out to GDO today to learn more.