Lung cancer and bone cancer have been found to be closely related, in that bone cancer is one of the main areas affected by the spread of lung cancer. As lung cancer progresses, it spreads via the blood stream and lymph nodes to other areas of the body, especially the bones. Treatment of the conditions varies depending on the type of cancer. Different types and stages of cancer will respond better to some forms of treatment than to others.
There are four stages of lung cancer. The cancer spreads to other areas when it reaches Stage IV. It then continues its growth in the areas to which it has spread. Cancer that begins in the lungs is known to spread to adjacent areas, and then on to further distant areas, depending upon the progressive development of the malignancy.
Lung cancer and bone cancer in the chest region can result from cancerous growths spreading from the lungs to the bones. Bone scans can reveal the degree to which lung cancer has spread to the bones during its fourth stage. X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans can also show how much the cancer has spread to the bones.
Metastasis is the term used to define cancer which spreads to other areas. As lung cancer spreads through the blood and lymph glands to other areas of the body, it is called metastatic cancer. Since the innermost parts of the bones involve the highly porous marrow, cancer carried in the bloodstream can cause lung cancer and bone cancer to be connected in regions of bones very distant from the lungs.
Lung cancer and bone cancer are related when cancer spreads from a primary source in the lungs to a secondary bone cancer. Bone cancer that begins in a region of the bones themselves, however, and then becomes cancerous and spreads to other areas of the body is called a primary bone cancer. On the other hand, a bone tumor is a growth that begins in a localized region of bone and does not spread; it is said to be benign, or noncancerous. Primary bone cancers and tumors are extremely rare cancers — occurring in less than 2,000 persons annually in the United States, where rare cancers are defined as those that occur in fewer than 200,000 each year.
The treatment of any type of cancer depends not only upon the type of cancer, but also upon the stage of the cancer and how far it has spread. Many forms of cancer, especially bone cancer, are treated by radiation therapy. Almost all types of cancer are treated only by chemotherapy when they have reached Stage IV, however.