Cancer Of The Bone

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What Causes Bone Cancer? The cause of bone cancer isn’t exactly known , but there are certain factors that may contribute to or increase a person’s chances of forming abnormal growths in the bone. These include:

Abnormal Cellular Growth
Healthy cells continually divide and replace older cells. After completing this process they die. Abnormal cells, however, continue living. They start forming masses of tissue that turn into tumors.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy, which kills dangerous cancer cells, can be used to treat bone cancer. However, osteosarcoma may form in some people who receive the treatment. The use of high dosages of radiation may be a factor in this development.

It's not clear what causes most bone cancers. Doctors know bone cancer begins as an error in a cell's DNA. The error tells the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These cells go on living, rather than dying at a set time. The accumulating mutated cells form a mass (tumor) that can invade nearby structures or spread to other areas of the body.

What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer?

The symptoms of bone cancer are:
• pain and swelling in the affected bones
• palpable hard mass in the long bones of the limbs
• feeling tired or fatigued

Less common symptoms include:

• easily broken bones
• weight loss

Treating Bone Cancer

Treatment depends on:
• the stage of cancer
• your age
• your overall health
• the size and location of the tumor





Medications

Medications that treat bone cancer include:
• chemotherapy drugs for multiple myeloma
• pain medications to relieve inflammation and discomfort
• bisphosphonates to help prevent bone loss and protect bone structure
• cytotoxic drugs to prohibit or stop the growth of cancerous cells

Diagnosing Bone Cancer

Doctors classify primary bone cancer in stages. These stages describe where the cancer is, what it’s doing, and how much it has affected other parts of the body:
• Stage 1 bone cancer hasn’t spread from the bone.
• Stage 2 bone cancer hasn’t spread but may become invasive, making it a threat to other tissue.
• Stage 3 bone cancer has spread to one or more areas of the bone and is invasive.
• Stage 4 bone cancer has spread to the tissues surrounding the bone and to other organs such as the lungs or brain.

Your doctor may use the following methods to determine the stage of cancers in the bones:
• a biopsy, which analyzes a small sample of tissue to diagnose cancer
• a bone scan, which checks the condition of the bones
• a blood test
• imaging testing that includes X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans to get in-depth views of the bones’ structure

Types of Bone Cancer

Primary bone cancers are the most serious of all bone cancers. They form directly in the bones or surrounding tissue, such as cartilage. Cancer can also spread, or metastasize, from another part of your body to your bones. This is known as secondary bone cancer, and this type is more common than primary bone cancer.

Common types of primary bone cancers include:
Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma is the most common type of bone cancer. It occurs when cancer cells grow in the bone marrow and cause tumors in various bones. MM usually affects older adults. Among bone cancers, MM has one of the best prognoses, and many people who have it don’t require treatment.

Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma)
Osteosarcoma, or osteogenic sarcoma, generally affects children and adolescents, but it can also occur in adults. It has a tendency to originate at the tips of the long bones in the arms and legs. Osteosarcoma may also start in the hips, shoulders, or other locations. It affects the hard tissue that provides the outer layer of your bones.

Chondrosarcoma
Chondrosarcoma may occur in the pelvis, thigh areas, and shoulders of older adults. It forms in the subchondral tissue, which is the tough connective tissue between your bones. This is the second most common primary cancer involving the bones.

Ewing’s Sarcoma
Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare cancer that either begins in the soft tissues surrounding the bones or directly in the bones of children and young adults. The long bones of the body, such as the arms and legs, and the pelvis are commonly affected.




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