What do doctors search for on X-ray to diagnose bone metastases?

Looking for.... Any abnormalities of the bone. Most specialists are very used to seeing "normal" bone - this makes us very keen on seeing anything that is not normal. Sometimes metastases are obvious and sometimes very subtle.
Lesions. Either lytic lesions (holes) or blastic lesions (indicating overactive bone formation).

Related Questions

Does X-ray detect bone metastases?

Not great. X-RAYs are relatively insensitive in the detection of early or small metastatic lesions. Although CT scans are superior, CT scanning is relatively insensitive in showing small lesions, and it has the disadvantage of limited skeletal coverage. Bone scans are very sensitive (they'll pick up everything) but nonspecific (could be just arthritis). MRI and PET scanning are accurate but very expensive. Read more...
X-ray of a bone can. show a lucent area or lucency that shows when 30-40% of the calcium in a bone area is washed out or lost. One cause of a lucent region or area is metastases. Other ways to investigate this is via a bone scan which shows bone turnover. An MRI will detect changes in the water composiotn in an area sn may show a metastatic lesson as well. X-ray can miss OR overcall one. IT is just one test used. Read more...

Does the doctor need to do to tests to be sure if the diagnosis is bone metastases?

Usually. Bone metastases are where cancer from one site (breast, prostate, lung) spreads through the blood and begins to grow in the bone. This can have a characteristic appearance on scans. The way to prove it is cancer is to take a biopsy. However, if cancer has already been diagnosed, bone metastases can be diagnosed by a characteristic bone scan or other radiographic test. Read more...
Sometimes. In many cases, it is not necessary because there is established progressed cancer and this is another manifestation, but if there is one lesion, no prior record of metastasis, it is quite reasonable to biopsy to prove metastasis. Read more...

Tumor in 2012, but a year later, our doctor found it had diffuse bone metastases. What now?

Chemo may help. Mosty lesions that spread to bone have a poor prognosis. This is true of lung cancer, melanoma and colon. Other lesions to bone such as renal cell ca or breast cancer while probably not cureable have known long term survivals on chemo. Read more...

How good is radiation on bone metastases?

Depends. Depends on the primary tumor, you have to trust your oncologist on the right path. Read more...

Are there treatment guidelines for bone metastases?

Bone mets. 3 modalities can be used to treat bony mets. Chemo ( type of chemo will depend on the primary cancer); radiation therapy directed to the most painful area/ of if there is fracture-to relieve symptoms; and surgery -sometimes is utilized for fracture that is caused by cancer- to relieve the symptoms/decompres if there is spinal cord compression. Medications like Reclast (zoledronic acid) or Denosumab are also used. Read more...
It hard to. Cancer moving to the bone is hard to dicuss in few line, i will provide you with a link could help you.Good luck thank you. Read more...

My father has bone metastases. What does this mean?

Bony mets. It means that he has a cancer outside the bone that has spread to the bone. Prostate will be the most common cause of bony mets in man- however , other cancers like lung, thyroid, kidney cancers and breast cancer in female are commonly also spread to the bone. Treatment for bone mets will be directed to relieve the symptoms created by the bone mets=pain, fracture, compression, hypercalcemia etc. Read more...
The cancer traveled. Primary bony cancer is not common, but disease goes to bones from prostate, lungs, breast, colorectal, renal and other sources. Primary bony cancer occur in adolescents (osteo & chondrosarcoma). Myeloma is a disease of antibody producing cell (plasma cell) in the marrow. Bony metastasis usually hurt. Relief: radiotherapy, cryotherapy, sometimes surgery. Read more...

If one has bone metastases would blood work show up negative?

It can. I would say most of the time there are biochemical signs, such as an elevated alkaline phosphatase. However, labs can be normal. Read more...
Maybe. Patients with bone metastases could have elevations in serum calcium and/or alkaline phosphatase. Also, tumor markers like cea, psa, or ca27.29 can go up just because there is active cancer. That said, a person could have metastases in the bone or anywhere else and still have normal lab tests. Read more...

How long can you live with multiple bone metastases from cancer?

Depends. What type of cancer? How aggressive is the tumor? How responsive to chemo & radiation therapy? Is there liver involvement? Any mets to the brain? Could be months, years, decades. Ain't over til it's over! (yogi berra). Read more...
Variable. That depends on many factors including the type of cancer, the behavior of that particular cancer, presence of metastases in other places like liver, lungs or brain, and the response the cancer is having to therapy. I treated a patient with bone metastases from breast cancer for over 10 years with tamoxifen and she finally died of other causes. Good luck. Read more...