There are 13.7 million people in the United States living with cancer, with 1.66 million being diagnosed in 2013.
Each year, over 400,000 cancer patients will develop metastases to the bone, causing approximately 350,000 deaths per year. Seventy percent of bone metastases involve the vertebrae and, each year, over 230,000 patients will develop symptomatic tumors of the spine.
The incidence of bone metastases is increasing due to an increasing elderly population, as well as improved cancer treatments that enable patients to live longer with the disease. The Department of Health and Human Services (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) conducts an annual survey as part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) to collect healthcare utilization data to monitor trends, facilitate decision making and improve healthcare delivery.