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Bone Cancer- Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment

We are aware that cancer is a disease that involves abnormal growth of cancerous cells in our body. The Cancer cells can grown in any part of the body and can also spread thereafter to other areas. Some examples of cancer are breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer,etc. Similarly, there is bone cancer. The abnormal growth of cells occurs in the bones of your body. Human body comprises of 216 bones and cancerous cells can affect any of these bones. However, the bones of your arms and legs as well as the pelvis bones are the most common target of cancerous cells. Compared to other types of cancers, bone cancer is a rare disease. The article talks about the types, treatment, diagnosis, and symptoms of bone cancer.

Types of Bone Cancer:

1. Multiple Myeloma:

It is the most common type of cancer. It occurs due to abnormal cells growing in the bone marrow causing tumors in various bones. This type of bone cancer affects adults usually. Among bone cancers, MM has one of the best prognoses, and many people who have it don’t require treatment.

2. Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma):

This type of cancer usually affects children or adolescents. There are chances that it occurs in adults as well. It originates at the tip of the long tissues of our arms and legs and affects the bones therewith attached. Osteosarcoma cancer affects the hard tissue which form the outer layer of our bones.

3. Chondrosarcoma:

This cancer can occur in pelvis, thighs shoulders of older adults. It forms in the subchondral tissue. This tissue is a tough connective tissue between our bones. This type of bone cancer takes the second place after Multiple Myeloma is popularity.

4. Ewing’s Sarcoma:

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare cancer that either begins in the soft tissues surrounding the bones or directly in the bones of children and young adults. The long bones of the body, such as the arms and legs, and the pelvis are commonly affected.

Signs and Symptoms of Bone Cancer:

1. Pain in the Bones due to Bone Cancer:

The target area of the cancer is affected and thus caused pain in the bones. The severeness of pain may vary. This happens due to excessive pressure that the cancer cells exert on the bone that it is attached to.

2. Swelling and Tenderness in the affected area:

The bone that has been affected with bone cancer may feel tender. The muscles around this area appear to be swollen. One may find it difficult to move and perform basic regular actions due to swelling an tenderness in the affected bone.

3. Weakened bones leading to fracture:

The bone that has bone cancer feels weak. So much so that, even a mild accident could lead to a fracture.

4. Fatigue due to Bone Cancer:

Since performing your regular activities becomes a very tedious and painful task after one is affected with bone cancer, the slightest of exertion could make such a person feel very weary.

5. Weight Loss:

One may seem to have lost too much weight suddenly. It is not healthy to lose weight especially when you are not even trying to do so.

6. Numbness:

Cancer in the bone of your pine could press against your nerves leading to feelings of numbness or tingling. This could be one reason for feeling of weakness as well.

If the bone cancer spreads to any other organ of your body, that particular part may also develop cancer.

Risk Factors Causing Bone Cancer:

The cause of bone cancer isn’t exactly known, but there are certain factors that may contribute to or increase a person’s chances of forming abnormal growths in the bone. However, there are few reasons which would put you to an increased risk of bone cancer. They are as follows:

1. Abnormal Cell Growth:

There is a difference between healthy cells and abnormal cells. Healthy cells develop and grow and then die. they are then replaced by other healthy cells. The cycle continues. However, abnormal cells do not die. They keep growing and spreading across other organs of your body. They eventually turn into mass of tissues that form tumors. They can be compared to termites that feed on wood until the wood becomes useless. What termites do to the block of wood is that which cancer does to your body.

2. Radiation Therapy:

This therapy is used to cure and control various types of other cancers including the cancer of the bone. However, osteosarcoma may form in some people who receive the treatment. The use of high dosages of radiation may be a factor in this development.

3. Genetic Factors:

Having a family history of bone cancer could put you at a risk of having it as well.

4. Having Paget’s Disease:

This is another type of disease in which the bones break and the develop again however they develop abnormally. This disorder could ultimately lead to bone cancer.

5. Tumors in the Cartilage:

Cartilage is the connecting tissue of your bone. If you currently have or had any tumors in your cartilage even in the past, you may be at a risk of having bone cancer.

Diagnosis of Bone Cancer:

Like any other cancer, this cancer too has four stages.

Stage 1: The bone cancer has not spread in any other part.

Stage 2: Bone cancer hasn’t spread but may become invasive, making it a threat to other tissue.

Stage 3: The cancer has spread to the other areas and has become invasive.

Stage 4: This is the final stage of cancer in which the bone cancer has spread to other organs of your body like lungs or brain.

In order to determine the stage of your cancer, the doctor may conduct a biopsy in which the doctor analyzes a small sample of tissue to diagnose cancer. One may also be recommended a bone scan or a blood test to determine the same. Imaging tests like MRI, CT scan, X-Rays also help to obtain an in  depth information of the condition of the bones.

Treatment of Bone Cancer:

The treatment depends upon factors like the age of the patient, the stage of the cancer, the overall health of the patient and the size and location of the tumor. Based on these factors the doctor decides the treatment as follows:

1. Medications:

The medications include chemotherapy for multiple myeloma bone cancer, Medications to relieve pain, medications to protect bone and drugs to inhibit growth of cancerous cells.

2. Radiation Therapy:

Most commonly adopted method of treatment of cancer is using radiation therapy to kill the existing cancer cells and also prevent any cells from growing further.

3. Surgery:

Your doctor may surgically remove tumors or affected tissue. Surgery to remove and replace damaged bone is an option to stop cancers that spread quickly. For extensive bone damage in the arms or legs, amputation may be needed.

One needs to ensure to receive the best possible treatment for a disease as serious as bone cancer. You will want to know the best hospital for this purpose which you may find in our article, Top Cancer Hospitals in New York. Rely on the information provided therein to receive excellent medical aid and attention.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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