What does Stage 4 of Bone Cancer Mean?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 26, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • The malignancy progresses to an advanced stage.
  • Cancer cells spread to body organs.
  • Tumours become quite large in size.
  • Treatment options are radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Stage 4 bone cancer suggest that the malignancy has progressed to an advanced stage and cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body beyond the bones to other organs. These organs could be the liver, lungs and brain. This is almost the last of the bone cancer stages. The person suffering is in severe pain and may not live much longer.


bone cancer stage 4


Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)

Bone cancer, medically named ‘osteosarcoma’ starts on account of a problem with the cells that make bones. It occurs mostly in children and young adolescents and is less common in adults. In adults it could occur due to metastatic spread from another tumour in the body. It generally affects the long bones of the arms and legs and around the knees and shoulders which are the areas of rapid growth in children.


Symptoms and Treatment

The symptoms of 4th stage bone cancer are characterised by quite large tumours, some of them more than five centimetres in size, some much smaller. Lymph nodes are affected having spread the cancerous cells to other organs in the body. The affected person suffers intense pains in bone joints, resulting in problems with movement, is susceptible to bone fractures, loses weight, is tired and has fever.

Treatment of stage 4 bone cancer varies from person to person. Treatment options are radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition new anti-cancer drugs and pain killers can alleviate pain and improve quality of life.



Chances of recovery from bone cancer stage 4 depends on the overall health, age and mental stability of the patient, how much the cancer has spread, how much can be removed by surgery, how much can be killed by radiotherapy and some individual factors.

The prognosis of stage 4 bone cancer has improved significantly. The development of modern chemotherapy and various new drugs have increased stage 4 bone cancer life expectancy.



Read more articles on Bone Cancer.


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  • patrick22 Sep 2012

    i love my mom.. she have a bone cancer stage 4

  • pushpa07 Sep 2012

    giv some more info.. its really helpful...

  • shingdha07 Sep 2012

    thanq... its really helpful...

  • rebecca benton21 Aug 2012

    My mother was diagnosed in Oct. 2011 with stage 4 bone cancer it had wiped out her hip.She did 4 radition treatments and was told that it had spread thru out her.There was nothing more they could do for her.She was given a fentanal patch to ease her pain. By dec 2011 she could no longer get out of bed and needed total assistance. She was not in her right mind the cancer had spread to her brain.Jan. 2012 she quit eating and drinking and went into a coma and passed away. She was only 71

  • tasha06 Aug 2012

    The stages dictate the severity of the cancer, stage 4 is the last stages in many cancers that people get too. Stage 4 means that the cancer has spread to other organs in the body, like the brain, lungs or liver. Chemotherapy is usually not given in this stage because it is not helpful as the cancer has gone to other areas. When diagnoses are given that a person is at stage 4 they tend to deteriorate rather fast only living 6 mos to a year after they have been diagnosed with stage 4.

  • Nikke17 Jul 2012

    My grandfather just got diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer.... It is so sad! He is such a strong man, and it's a shame to watch him fade away....

  • Kathy26 Jun 2012

    I help with the care of a lady who has bone cancer in her jaw stage 4. She is developing abcesses that are draining constantly and she suffers from a lot of pain. She has refused all treatment. Hospice is helping take care of her and her doctor has noted she is terminal. What is her life expectancy?

  • omnia31 May 2012

    my dad got diagnosed 6 months ago with bone cancer and i am not sure if it spreads to other organ or not but doctors think it is now in lungs .. he is in his fourth stage his doctor said that he will not be treated by chemo therapy but he had 10 radio therapy sessions till now he lost lots of weight and cant talk and cant breath regularly i need to know details about his stage and does he really has few months or few years ??

  • melody22 Jan 2012

    My dad got diagnosed in august 2010 with prostate cancer stage 4, which has led to secondary bone cancer, they said it was advanced. the last few months he has not been eating properly, he has loss of appetite and lost a lot of weight, he is in alot of pain the medicine no longer takes the pain away, so now they have given him morphine, i was wondering, is he in the last few months of his life as i have been reading that all the symptoms that he is showing is indicating he has a few months!!

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