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Metastic Bone Disease/Pain

Breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma may spread to bone, including the spine and long bones of the body.


Metastases to the bone can be asymptomatic or symptomatic. Pain from bone metastases may wax and wane at first. The pain is often worse at night and improves with movement. Ultimately, the pain can become constant. When the tumor invades the spine, it may cause a fracture in the spine. It can also compress nerves and cause pain that travels along the legs or arms, depending on their location.

Possible Causes

In addition to breast, lung, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma (which can spread to bone), there are also primary bone cancers that cause pain.


At the Center for Pain Management, your doctor will carefully review your history, perform a thorough examination, and review or order pertinent imaging before creating an individualized plan of care unique to your symptoms.

Malignant bone pain is treated with medications, including dexamethasone, opioids, bisphosphonates, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and orthotics. Radiation therapy may also be an option. If the tumor has caused a compression fracture, a vertebroplasty or spine surgery may be performed.