Metastatic carcinoma of the long bones

Anthony I. Riccio, Felasfa M. Wodajo, Martin Malawer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Scopus citations


Breast, prostate, renal, thyroid, and lung carcinomas commonly metastasize to bone. Managing skeletal metastatic disease can be complex. Pain is the most common presenting symptom and requires thorough radiographic and laboratory evaluation. If plain-film radiography is not sufficient for diagnosis, a bone scan may detect occult lesions. Patients with lytic skeletal metastases may be at risk for impending fracture. Destructive lesions in the proximal femur and hip area are particularly worrisome. High-risk patients require immediate referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Patients who are not at risk for impending fracture can be treated with a combination of radiotherapy and adjuvant drug therapy. Bisphosphonates diminish pain and prolong the time to significant skeletal complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1494
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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    Riccio, A. I., Wodajo, F. M., & Malawer, M. (2007). Metastatic carcinoma of the long bones. American Family Physician, 76(10), 1489-1494.