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To improve the care of patients with bone metastases, a clinical condition that requires pooling different areas of expertise, the HUG Cancer Center has created a specific program: the Bone Metastases Program.
As part of the Bone Metastases Program, treating physicians meet as part of the weekly Cancer Board and discuss patient situations, in order to define a set of multimodal therapeutic strategies specifically tailored to their cases. This essential multidisciplinary team that makes therapeutic decisions is made up of an oncologist, a radio-oncologist, a neurosurgeon, an orthopedic surgeon, a radiologist, an interventional radiologist and a bone disease specialist. All these health professionals will then provide, in different HUG divisions, patient care and will coordinate to ensure an optimal treatment pathway, while maintaining the patient's quality of life.
Cancer cells can leave the primary tumor or tumor of origin to enter the blood stream and spread to almost all of the body’s tissues. Bones are a common place where cells can establish themselves and proliferate, and this is what we call bone metastases.
Bone metastases appear most often during disease progression, primarily in cases of breast, prostate, lung or kidney cancer. The metastases may develop in any bone in the body, but they often affect the spinal column. Other common sites are the pelvis, ribs, the bones in the upper part of the leg (femur), the bones in the upper part of the arm (humerus) and cranium.
In the event of bone metastases, it is rare that the cancer can be cured, but it is still possible to treat it in order to reduce, stop or slow down its growth. Treating cancer and offering specific treatments for bone metastases therefore makes it possible for patients to live longer and maintain their quality of life.
Bone metastases appear most often in the advanced stages of the cancer's progression, primarily in cases of breast, prostate, lung or kidney cancer.