Getting the background
Due to his work in orthopaedic oncology, Rhys is often asked about how to treat cancer that has spread to bones. It is not uncommon for breast, bowel, lung, and kidney cancer to spread to bones. If the cancer has spread to the bone, it may be painful or sometimes there are no symptoms at all.
“It’s important that I get a comprehensive background into how a cancer has been treated prior to seeing me. Usually I talk to multiple doctors, including the oncologist, to get a full picture of where treatment is at. This allows me to make the best decisions,” says Dr Rhys Clark.
Developing a treatment plan
Once a metastasis is in the bone, it will weaken the bone and cause pain, it may even cause the bone to break. Further CAT or MRI images will be needed to gather information and collate a clinical picture that can devise a plan on how to treat the lesion. Some lesions require no treatment; for others, radiation may be sufficient. An operation may also be necessary to stop the bone breaking or to fix it if the bone has broken.
“This can be a very difficult time for patients and their families. Sometimes there is no right answer but I am always happy to explain the current situation and the safe treatment options; to be the support you need.”