Bone complications are frequently observed in cancer patients. They may be the result of the disease or due to the anticancer treatment. Osteoporosis is seen in up to 30% of cancer patients depending on tumor type and treatment and screening for osteoporosis is indicated in selected patients. It should be prevented by the use of calcium and vitamin D and exercising programs and, if present, should be adequately treated by drugs registered for the treatment of osteoporosis. Bone metastases are observed in up to 75% of metastatic cancer patients depending on the tumor type. Skeletal-related complications, occurring in 50–70% in patients with bone metastases, can be prevented and delayed by the use of bisphosphonates or denosumab. Prevention of the development of bone metastases has been shown by anti-tumor treatment while the role of modification of the micro-environment by bisphosphonates and denosumab needs further study.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2014;8(1):3–8)