Author(s): Rajarubendra N, Bolton D, Lawrentschuk N
The spread of urological malignancies to bone is a poor prognostic factor. Early detection of metastatic bony lesions assists with tailoring patient management and potentially improving quality of life. Newer therapies such as zolderonic acid for prostate cancer have reinvigorated the importance of clinicians treating bony disease. An array of biochemical and imaging options are available and the order, sensitivity and cost of such investigations need to be understood to maximise clinical benefit. Furthermore, the ideal time to investigate for bony metastases has often been controversial. Although simple history and examination, serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase and plain radiography with bone scintigraphy remain at the forefront of diagnosing bony disease, evolving diagnostic modalities, such as positron emission tomography and newer bone markers need to be considered. The aim of this review is to clarify the role of various investigations and to give clinicians a current analysis of the timing of such investigations in the context of evolving diagnostic modalities and accepted guidelines for urological malignancy.