Managing Sex-Based Metastatic Malignancies

Margaret M. Baker, MD

Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer are the most common malignancies among women and men, respectively, in the United States. New cases exceed primary bone and joint cancers by a 163:1 ratio. Although orthopaedic surgeons may see few primary bone cancers during their careers, they should expect to see metastatic disease frequently.

Lifetime personal probability for the development of invasive breast cancer in females is 1:8; for invasive prostate cancer in males it is 1:6. Metastatic disease spreading to bone frequently occurs with both breast and prostate cancers. Due to improvements in early diagnosis and treatment, patients with these cancers are living longer. However, sex-based malignancies and their associated treatments cause numerous deleterious effects on bone.

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