Are bone metastases visible on an X-ray?

14th July 2021

The most common site of secondary breast cancer is the bone. While breast cancer can metastasise to any bone, the most commonly affected areas are the:

  • spine
  • ribs
  • skull
  • pelvis
  • upper bones of the arms and legs.

Bone metastases may be picked up on a plain film X-ray, but a normal X-ray does not exclude bone metastasis and patients may need more specialist investigations.

To learn more, access GatewayC’s ‘Breast Cancer Recurrence’ course. This course aims to support healthcare practitioners in recognising the symptoms of breast cancer recurrence and improve confi­dence in decision-making regarding referral back to breast cancer services.

Find out more:

  • Access GatewayC’s ‘Breast Cancer Recurrence’ course here
  • Read Natalie’s story ‘I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer 10 years after my primary diagnosis’ here
  • Access Breast Cancer Now’s Secondary (metastatic) breast cancer in the bone resources here

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