Did you know? Cancer that arises in the bone (primary bone cancer) is not the same disease as cancer that spreads to the bone from another part of the body (secondary bone cancer).
Generally, primary bone cancer is rare, with approximately 2,500 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States.
More commonly, bones are the site of tumors that result from the spread or metastasis of cancer from another organ, such as the lungs, breasts and prostate.
Types of Bone Cancer
The most common type of bone cancer is osteosarcoma, which develops new tissue in growing bones. Second type of bone cancer is the chondrosarcoma which arises in cartilage.
Ewing’s Sarcoma, its tissue of origin is immature nerve tissue, its common location is usually in bone marrow pelvis, arms and upper legs ribs. Effects ages from 10 to 20.
Gosh! Do you realize pain in your bones continuously? Then please do not neglect, have a thorough check up with your doctor to avoid any further complications as pain is the most frequent symptom of bone cancer.
However, symptoms may vary depending on the location and size of the cancer. Tumors that occur in or near joints may cause swelling or tenderness in the affected area.
It is common that bone cancer can also interfere with normal movements and can weaken the bones. This occasionally leads to a fracture. Other bone cancer symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss, anemia and fever.
Relax! Chill! None of these symptoms is a sure sign of bone cancer. They may also be caused by other, less serious conditions. Now you see how important it is to check with your doctor.
Bone Cancer Diagnosis
To diagnose bone cancer, the doctor asks about the patient’s personal and family medical history and does a complete physical exam.
In addition to checking the general signs of health, the doctor usually orders blood tests and x-rays. X-rays can show the location, shape of a bone tumor and size. On x-rays, benign tumors usually look round and smooth, with distinct edges.
Thus the diagnosis of bone cancer is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, blood and x-ray tests and confirmed with a biopsy.
After this the doctor knows exactly where the cancer is located and whether it has spread from its original location. This information is very important for planning treatment.
These diagnosis results are all used in staging the cancer. The stage indicates whether the disease has spread and how much tissue is affected.
Bone Cancer Treatment
Treatment of bone cancer depends on the location, size, type, and extent of the tumor as well as the age and health of the patient. There are various treatment methods to look into after the diagnosis procedure is done.
For suitable method of treatment to follow, the patient needs to be in appropriate condition to undergo the treatment.
For patients with bone cancer the general treatment options includes: surgery (amputation), chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Many bone cancer treatment centers offer complementary and alternative therapies such as naturopathic medicine, nutritional therapy, mind-body medicine, image enhancement and spiritual counseling.
The doctor takes into consideration the age of the patient, personal health of the patient and most importantly the stage and type of bone cancer.