If bone cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the bone to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If bone cancer spreads, it can spread to:

  • the lungs – the most common place where bone cancer spreads
  • the brain
  • other bones

Bone cancer does not often spread to the lymph nodes around the tumour (regional lymph nodes).

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Bone Cancer. 2016.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support. Understanding Primary Bone Cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support; 2014.
  • O'Donnell RJ, Dubois SC, Hass-Kogan DA . Sarcomas of bone. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 91:1292–1313.
  • Samuel LC . Bone and soft-tissue sarcoma. Yarbro CH, Wujcik D, Holmes Gobel B (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2018: 46:1243-1277.