What You Should Know About Bone Cancer
Bone cancer is a type of cancer that affects bones. It is not common in young people, but it can appear at any age and in all kinds of people’s body. The treatment of bone cancer varies from individual to individual.
Over the last few decades, bone cancer has become one of the most common cancers in people. Bone cancer usually begins in any bone in your body, although it most often targets the leg or the pelvis bones.
Overall, bone cancer is extremely rare, making up just less than one percent of all malignancies. In reality, nonmalignant bone tumors are far more prevalent than malignant ones.
Usually, if the doctor finds abnormal cells in the bone tissue, they will conduct a biopsy to find the exact source of the cells.
Sometimes, if the cells are found in normal bone tissue, biopsies are taken for pathological analysis. The doctor needs to know the type of cell that has been found. For example, if it is determined that a cell is cancerous, it must be tested for other reasons.
Possible causes and risk factors of bone cancer
There is still no known reason why cancer cells form in the bone. Some possible causes are radiation therapy, genetics, and other hereditary risk factors. Other risk factors that could cause bone cancer are
- Disease involving the lymphatic system
- Age, or gender
Tumors that are malignant in nature or are permanently positioned often cause large tumors. Radiation therapy to the head is a major cause of malignant tumors in the bone.
These include bone cancers that begin in the cranium, which are found below the mandible, and those that originate near the base of the skull extending to the spinal column.
However, the types of cancers are still different enough that they need to be treated differently. This is what you need to know about the two.
The first type of bone cancer is referred to as osteosarcoma
This occurs most commonly in people over the age of 40. This type of bone cancer is characterized by an abnormal growth of the osteoid tissue that produces bone mass and helps provide stability to your skeleton.
Osteosarcomas most commonly develop on the mandible and triceps. The most common symptom of osteosarcoma is the weakness of the grip, swelling, and a loss of mobility. A person may experience pain when he or she reaches for something or even a brief loss of balance.
The second most common symptom is connective tissues
Which can grow anywhere on the body. They are most common on the fingers, ears, hands, and feet. These tumors are also known as hand and foot warts.
Some people have no symptoms at all, and these tumors can sometimes grow without a person’s knowledge. However, other times people will notice small soft white growths on or near their bones.
The third type is referred to as chondrosarcoma
which is a rare type of bone cancer. It is caused by an abnormal build-up of a certain type of tissue called cartilage. Usually, this develops inside the knee.
Smaller types of chondrosarcoma grow on or near the femur, or thigh bone. Symptoms of this disease include swelling and redness, pain when moving the joint, and an odd tingling sensation.
There are many possible risk factors for developing this condition
Age is one such risk factor, especially if you are over forty years of age. Men are more likely to develop bone cancer than women because men have more testosterone in their bodies.
Other risk factors include diabetes, a family history of bone cancer, and being overweight. Certain medications, including diuretics, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs, increase a person’s risk of developing this condition.
There are several risk factors for developing bone cancer include having a family history of the disease, being male, being overweight, and living in areas where there is high radiation therapy.
Malignant melanoma is the most serious form of this disease and tends to develop slowly over time. Symptoms of malignant melanoma include
- Changing or losing skin color
- Growths on the face, arms, or neck
- Hair loss
- Sudden pain or numbness in the area of the bones affected
This type of cancer tends to affect people who are older and tends not to spread. This is why people who receive constant radiation therapy in their treatment for malignant melanoma are at a much lower risk of developing bone marrow cancer.
Diagnosis of bone cancer usually involves a biopsy of a part of the bone. This can be done if a doctor believes that the cancer has spread or if a person develops any of the symptoms associated with this disease.
If biopsies are performed and the doctor determines that cancer has spread, then the part can be removed. However, it is also possible for cancer to spread from a part of the bone that has not yet been removed, which could mean that more tissue needs to be removed to treat the person properly.
Surgery to remove the tumor will be one of the first steps in treating this disease
In some cases, if the tumor cannot be removed, then the doctor may recommend that the patient undergo chemotherapy in order to target the tumor and kill it.
During chemotherapy, the patient’s immune system will be compromised, so it is important that the patient only receives therapy under the supervision of a highly experienced oncologist.
With the right cancer treatments, a person’s chances of survival after having a tumor treated with chemotherapy is better than ever. However, it is always best to see a doctor if bone cancer seems to be increasing or if there has been an increase in symptoms for a prolonged period of time.
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