Metastatic bone disease (MBD) is common—it is detected in up to 65–75% of patients with breast or prostate cancer, in over 35% of patients with lung cancer; and almost all patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma have focal lesions or a diffuse bone marrow infiltration. Metastatic bone disease can cause a variety of symptoms and is often associated with a poorer prognosis, with high social and health-care costs. Population-based cohort studies confirm significantly increased health-care utilization costs in patients presenting with cancer with MBD compared with those without MBD. The prolonged survival of patients with bone metastasis thanks to advances in therapy presents an opportunity for better treatments for this patient cohort. Early and accurate diagnosis of bone metastases is therefore crucial. The patterns and presentation of MBD are quite heterogeneous and necessitate good knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of each imaging modality. Here, we review the state-of-the-art imaging techniques, assess the need for evidence-based and cost-effective patient care pathways, and advocate multidisciplinary management based on collaborations between orthopedic surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, radiotherapists, and radiologists aimed at improving patient outcomes. Radiologists play a key role in this multidisciplinary approach to decision-making through correlating the tumor entity, the tumor biology, the impact on the surrounding tissues and progression, as well as the overall condition of the patient. This approach helps to choose the best patient-tailored imaging plan advocating a “choose wisely” strategy throughout the initial diagnosis, minimally invasive treatment procedures, as well as follow-up care plans.
- Health-care costs