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NBME 22 Answers

nbme22/Block 4/Question#27

A 78-year-old man comes to the physician because of ...

Metastatic carcinoma

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 +4  upvote downvote
submitted by notadoctor(51),

Metastatic disease is more common than primary bone tumors.





 +1  upvote downvote
submitted by oznefu(7),

I’m having trouble understanding why this is a better choice than Paget disease, especially with the increased ALP?

zelderonmorningstar  Paget’s would also show some sclerosis. +1  
seagull  ALK is increased in bone breakdown too. Prostate loves spreading to the lumbar Spine. It's like crack-cocaine for cancer. +1  
aesalmon  I think the "Worse at night" lends itself more towards mets, and the pt demographics lean towards prostate cancer, which loves to go to the lumbar spine via the Batson plexus. I picked Paget but i think they would have given something more telling if they wanted pagets, histology or another clue +  
fcambridge  @seagull and aesalmon, I think you're a bit off here. Prostate mets would be osteoblastic, not osteolytic as is described in the vignette. +5  
sup  Yeah I chose Paget's too bcz I figured if it wasn't prostate cancer (which as @fcambridge said would present w/ osteoblastic lesions) they would give us another presenting sx of the metastatic cancer (lung, renal, skin) that might point us in that direction. I got distracted by the increased ALP too and fell for Paget :( +  
kernicterusthefrog  @fcambridge, not exactly. Yes, prostate mets tends to be osteoblastic, but about 30% are found to be lytic, per this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768452/ Additionally, the night bone pains point to mets, and Paget's is much more commonly found in the cranial bones and appendicular skeleton, than axial. This could also be RCC mets! +  
sweetmed  I mainly ruled out pagets because they said the physical examination was normal. He would def have other symptoms. +2  
cathartic_medstu  From what I remember from Pathoma: Metastasis to bone is usually osteolytic with exception to prostate, which is osteoblastic. Therefore, stem says NUMEROUS lytic lesions and sounds more like metastasis. +1  


but prostate cancer is not lytic as blastic lesions

+/- titanesxvi(0),