Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that take over neighbouring cells and tissues and, at later stages, also spread to organs. When such cells start at the bone, they cause bone cancer. However, sometimes other cancers can also spread to the bone.
“Cancers that are sometimes called “bone cancers” start in the blood forming cells of the bone marrow − not in the bone itself. A primary bone tumor starts in the bone itself. True (or primary) bone cancers are called sarcomas. Sarcomas are cancers that start in bone, muscle, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, fat tissue, as well as some other tissues. They can develop anywhere in the body.” – from www.cancer.org
Copyright © Terese Winslow LLC, U.S. Govt, The above image is used for educational purpose only.
- Fractures - Bone cancer can weaken the bone it develops in, but most of the time the bones do not fracture (break).
- Other symptoms - weight loss and fatigue.
Every type of Cancer has risk factors, but they don’t tell us everything. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors.
A very small number of bone cancers (like osteosarcomas, Chondrosarcomas, Chordomas) appear to be hereditary and are caused by defects (mutations) in certain genes.
Paget (PA-jet) disease is a benign (non-cancerous) but pre-cancerous condition that affects one or more bones.
Bone marrow transplantation
People have wondered whether injury to a bone can cause cancer, but this has never been proven.
Many people with bone cancer remember having hurt that part of their bone. Most doctors believe that this did not cause the cancer, but rather that the cancer caused them to remember the incident or that the injury drew their attention to that bone and caused them to notice a problem that had already been present for some time. – cancer.org
As of now, no known lifestyle changes can prevent bone cancers.
Cancer has different stages, each depicted by a Roman numeral from 1 to 4 (I, II, III and IV). Stage I is the first stage where the tumor is still small while at Stage IV, the patient’s condition is said to be critical because the tumor has spread to other organs of the body. Hence, a cancer’s stage refers to the tumor’s size and extent of spread. This is the simplest form of staging.
In Bone cancer, the stage depends on whether it is confined to the origin of the cancer (localized cancer, Stage I) or whether it has spread to other organs (metastatic cancer).
The stage decides the kind of treatment you need to get. The greater the stage number, the more complex the treatment.
Needless to say, if the bone cancer is detected while it is still in Stage I, survival rate is higher. The rate decreases progressively with the increase in stage. Stage III is considered critical, while stage IV is, more often than not, fatal.For all cases of bone cancer combined (in both adults and children), the 5-year relative survival is about 70%.
Medicine is evolving everyday to meet these challenges and to keep you happy, healthy and alive!
The best bet is to pay attention to the signs and symptom s as there are currently no routine tests for bone cancer detection.
Based on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, primary treatment options include:
- Targeted therapy
Treatment is based on the type of tumor and other factors, and often more than one type of treatment is used. Discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your treatment team to help make the decision that best fits your needs.
If you have any of the symptoms, please do visit the doctor