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What happens in Bone cancer?

What is bone cancer?

what is bone cancer


The term “bone cancer” refers to the tumor or abnormal mass of tissue that forms in a bone.

It can occur in any bone of the body but it mostly occurs in the pelvis or the long bones that are present in the arms and legs.

In this article, we provide you the detailed information about bone cancer.


What are the symptoms of Bone cancer?


symptoms of bone cancer

The symptoms experienced during bone cancer are as follows:

·      Persistent pain in the affected bone

·      Bone swelling or the region around it

·      Weak bones (risk of leading to a fracture)

·      Sudden weight loss

·      Feeling tired



What are the types of Bone Cancer?


types of bone cancer


There are several types of bone cancers but out of them the primary bone cancer can be considered an issue of seriousness.

Tumors in the bone either be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

 A benign or noncancerous tumor does not spread beyond its original site. Malignant tumors are more violent and have a greater risk of growing and spreading.

The most common types of bone cancer include:


1. Osteosarcoma:


osteosarcoma bone cancer

Osteosarcoma is also known as osteogenic sarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer.

It is usually found in children and adolescents but it can also be seen in adults.  In this type of tumor, the cancerous cells produce bones.

Osteosarcoma occurs at the tips of the long bones in the arms as well as legs.

Sometimes very rarely osteosarcomas can arise outside of bones and this condition is termed extra-skeletal osteosarcomas.


2. Chondrosarcoma:


chondrosarcoma bone cancer

Chondrosarcoma is usually seen developing in adults. In this tumor, the cancerous cells produce cartilage that is a type of connective tissue that lines the joints and then spreads to the bone.

It commonly develops in the upper leg, pelvis, and shoulders in middle-aged or other adults of around 40 years of age.

Chondrosarcoma is the second most common form of bone cancer.


3. Ewing’s sarcoma:


Ewing sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a type of bone cancer that usually develops in the pelvis, chest wall, shinbone, or thighbone.

It is rare cancer that begins directly in the bones of children and young adults.

Ewing’s sarcoma most commonly affects long bones of the body such as the arms and legs and the pelvis.


What causes bone cancer?


causes of bone cancer

  • Genetic Inherited Syndromes: There are rare genetic or hereditary syndromes that are passed through families that increase the risk of bone cancer.
  • Bone Paget’s disease: This condition mostly occurs in older adults.
  • It increases the risk of bone cancer.
  • Cancer Radiation Therapy: The use of large doses of radiation increases the risk of bone cancer. It plays a factor in the development of bone cancer.


Who are at the major risks of having it?

1. The risk factors of developing bone cancers are:

2. Family history of risk factors

3. Exposure to radiation therapy in past

4. Having Paget’s disease

5. Multiple tumors in cartilage


What are the stages of bone cancer?


A/c to studies primary bone cancer is classified into four stages:

Stage 1: In this initial stage bone cancer does not spread from the bone. 

Stage 2: There is a threat to other tissues although the bone cancer does not spread.

Stage 3:  In this stage, it spreads from one area of the bone to another.

Stage 4: It spreads to various organs usually lungs and brains as well as tissues.



What are the tests available for bone cancer?


what are the test of bone cancer

There are different tests that are performed to detect bone cancers. 

Here are the lists of tests that are performed in an individual to detect bone cancer:


1. PET Scans: PET i.e. Positron emission tomography scans helps in detecting cancer throughout your whole body.


2. Radionuclide bone scan: It helps to detect if cancer has spread to other bones and the amount of damage cancer has caused in the bone.


3. MRI scans: MRI i.e. Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans are one of the best tests that suggest bone cancer. They easily scan the brain and spinal cord.


4. CT scans: Computed tomography (CT) scans show if the bone cancer has spread to your lungs, liver, or other organs.

It detects the lymph nodes and distant organs where there might be cancer spread.


5. X-rays: X-ray scan is one of the most common scans that are performed to detect bone cancer.

A chest x-ray is often performed to see if bone cancer has spread to the lungs.



What is Biopsy?


treatment of bone cancer

Your doctor would suggest a biopsy to identify the stage of the tumor and to detect whether it is a benign or malignant type of bone cancer.

There are different types of biopsies that are done. They are listed one by one as follows:

Needle Biopsy: It generally consists of two types:


1. Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA): In this type of biopsy, a small amount of fluid, as well as some cells from the tumor, is taken out using a very thin needle or a syringe.


2. Core Needle Biopsy: Here in this technique performed by the doctors a larger needle is used to remove a small cylinder of tissue.

Core needle biopsy is far better than FNA to diagnose primary bone cancer.


* Surgical bone biopsy: It is a surgery in which the skin is cut to reach the tumor so that a small piece of tissue can be removed out. This procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia.



What is the Survival Rates with Bone Cancer?

Survival rates suggest the percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancers that are still alive for a certain amount of time after being diagnosed.

For instance, a person with chondrosarcoma that has not spread has a 91% chance of surviving for 5 years after diagnosis.

Thus it is extremely essential to detect and treat bone cancer.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q1. What is the chance of recovery in bone cancer?

Ans: The chance of recovery for bone cancers has improved significantly due to the development of modern chemotherapy.

The chance of recovery depends on the variety of influences; if cancer has spread the type of bone cancer, the size of the tumor, location, the person's general health, and other individual factors. Also, it is important that how much amount of the main tumor could be removed or destroyed by surgery as well as radiotherapy, and the response of the tumor to chemotherapy.


Q2. What is Multiple Myeloma?

Ans: Myelomatosis or Multiple myeloma is cancer in which there is an abnormal growth in the number of plasma cells in the bone marrow and blood. This can suppress the normal production of blood cells, including those associated with the body's immune system.

Multiple myeloma is most common in people aged over 60 and is less frequent before the age of 40.


Q3. How painful is bone cancer?

Ans: Pain in the affected bone is the most common sign of bone cancer. At first, the pain is not constant. It may be worse at night or when the bone is used, for instance, leg pain when walking. As cancer grows, the pain will be there all the time and get worse with activity.

Bone cancer pain is common in patients with advanced breast, prostate, and lung cancer as these tumors have a remarkable affinity to metastasize to bone. Once tumors metastasize to bone, they are a major cause of morbidity and mortality as the tumor induces significant skeletal remodeling, fractures, pain, and anemia.


Q4. How fast does bone cancer spread?

Ans: The answer depends on a number of factors, especially its cell type, histologic grade, and whether you are really asking about a primary bone tumor or bone metastasis.


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