Introduction The Problem

The incidence of cancer in the United States is over a million new cases a year (excluding cancers of the skin), of which over 100,000, perhaps up to 150,000 patients a year, develop bone metastases. The frequently occurring tumors that spread to the bone are prostate, breast, and lung cancer. The presence of bone metastases obviously signals reduced survival but also heralds a number of clinically significant complications, including bone pain which will afflict up to two-thirds of those with bone metastases. Other complications include fracture, hypercalcemia, and spinal cord compression. This chapter will discuss the role of nuclear medicine in pain control of these painful osseous metastases.

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