Oncology (General Cancer)/bone cancer


I know of a couple of cases of bone cancer, and one has been on and off treatments for approx. 5yrs. maybe a little over. seems like he's always being treated.  I'm surprised that this can be treated like this for that long of a time.  Also I've heard that persons can have bone cancer for yrs. before being diagnosed, and some pain with it.  I didn't think you could have this for yrs. before knowing it, is this true.  thank you .

There are several things that you might call "bone cancer".  One is multiple myeloma, often associated with destruction of bone.  This can respond well to treatment and sometimes people can go for many years. Metastatic disease to the bone, from breast cancer or prostate cancer, is also treatable for a long time.  Although this isn't strictly "bone cancer", it can be almost entirely in the bones, and people who aren't medically sophisticated might conclude that this is bone cancer.  Finally, true bone cancer, that arises from bone cells is rare, and generally starts out involving one area of bone.  this kind of cancer often goes to other organs (brain, liver, lung) before affecting other bones, and is not usually something that goes on for five years.  So I can see how someone could live a long time with certain cancers that primarily involve bone, and for those cancers, the answer to your question is "yes".  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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