Bone cancer is a type of cancer arising in the bone. It can begin in any bone in the body but it commonly affects the long bones in the arms legs and pelvis. It can be classified as primary or secondary bone cancer. Primary bone cancer is the most serious amongst all bone cancers,it originates in bone derived cells, but it is not very common. Secondary bone cancers are those cancers which might have metastasized from some other body part. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Bhuvan Chugh, Consultant –Medical Oncology, Cancer Care, Max Hospital Gurgaon, to know about the symptoms, causes and treatment of bone cancer.
Bone cancer symptoms
Symptoms of bones cancer is mostly in the form of pain and weakness in body. You must not ignore if the pain is too severe and it comes and goes. Chronic pain that is not relieved by pain killers should not be avoided. One must pay more attention to their kid, if they complain about pain in their bones.
- Bone pain
- Weight loss
- Weak bones
- Swelling and redness in the affected area
Bone cancer causes
The cause of bone cancer is not exactly known but a number of environmental and hereditary factors are responsible for development of bone cancer. On the basis of origin of cancer in the bones, it can be classified into three different parts:
This is the most common form of bone cancer, it begins in the cells that bones, it mostly affects and young adults. It may start in the bones of leg and arm. Ut may also start in the hips shoulders and other location.
It the second most common type of cancer. It begins in the sub chondral tissue which is a tough connective tissues. It usually begins in the pelvis, thigh and shoulders. It is more common in older adults. Younger adults are less likely to suffer from it. Chances of developing this type of cancer increases with our age.
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3. Ewing sarcoma
It is a rare type of bone cancer, it forms in the bones of children and young adults, it is rarely seen in older adults. It arises in long bones likes legs, arms and pelvis. It is caused due to certain mutation in the genes. It originates in the soft tissues of body.
And, some risk factors associated with bone cancer are:
- Exposure to high doses of radiation
- Inherited genes
- Family history of bone cancer
- Pagets disease
Bone cancer diagnosis and treatment
Imaging tests can be used to locate the tumor, these tests also help in determining the size and invasion of tumors in surrounding area. The types of imaging tests depends on the symptoms of the patient, it may include CT scan, X ray, PET,MRI and bone scans. The doctor might also recommend biopsy to determine the nature of tumor. The treatment of bone cancers depends upon the severity of cancer.
Surgical methods can also be used for removal of the cancerous tumor or to remove the entire or a part of the limb. Amputation is the last way out and it is only done in severe cases where the tumor is too big or present in a very difficult position to be accessed. It might also be done if the cancer becomes invasive.
It involves a range of drugs to kill the cancerous cells in body. It can be used to reduce the size of tumor, so that it can be removed using surgery, it can also be used to make the tumor more accessible to radiation therapy. These therapy can also be used post surgery to treat the remaining parts of tumor. It is a very proven therapy for pain reduction ans it also slows down the growth of cancerous cells.
3. Radiation therapy
This method consists of using powerful rays like X-rays, protons and high energy beam lights to kill the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy can be used in the body parts where surgery is more risky. It can also be used post surgery recovery of the patient. This therapy is also helpful in relieving pain.