What is a bisphosphonate and how does it work? Why does it benefit patients with cancer that has spread to the bone?

Bisphosphonate limits the loss of bone density resulting from osteoporosis or bone cancer. It helps prevent your bone from weakening or potentially fracturing. Patients with metastatic cancer to bone are often treated with intravenous bisphosphonates. In certain cancers, this treatment has been shown to decrease the number of tumors that develop or spread to the bone, strengthen the bone and also decrease the risk and number of pathological fractures. There are rare instances of osteonecrosis of the jaw that can develop.