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Overview

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bone cancer, you probably feel scared and uncertain about what to do next. But don’t worry–some treatments can help you manage the disease and improve your quality of life. This guide will help you understand your diagnosis, make treatment decisions, and cope with the challenges of living with bone cancer.

What is bone cancer?

Bone cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of the bone. Bone cancer is relatively rare, accounting for only about 1% of all cancers. The most common type of bone cancer is osteosarcoma, which typically affects children and young adults. Other types of bone cancer include chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and giant cell tumor of the bone.

Bone cancer occurs when the normal process of cell growth gets disturbed. As a result, cells grow out of control, forming a mass or tumor. These bone tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Benign tumors are not as likely to spread to other parts of the body, but they can still cause damage by growing and destroying healthy tissue. Malignant tumors are more likely to spread or metastasize to other body parts.

What are the symptoms of bone cancer?

The most common symptom of bone cancer is pain in the affected bone. The pain may come and go at first, but it gradually worsens over time. Bone cancer pain is often described as a dull ache that worsens with activity and improves with rest. Other symptoms of bone cancer may include:

  • Tenderness or swelling around the tumor
  • A feeling of fullness or pressure in the affected area
  • Weakness, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss
  • Fractures (breaks) in the affected bone, even without an injury

What causes bone cancer?

The exact cause of bone cancer is unknown. However, certain risk factors may increase your chance of developing the disease. These include:

  • A family history of bone cancer
  • Exposure to high-dose radiation therapy
  • Certain genetic conditions, such as retinoblastoma or Li-Fraumeni syndrome

What are the possible complications of bone cancer?

Possible complications of bone cancer include spreading the disease to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain, and the development of secondary cancers. Treatment side effects, such as infection and nerve damage, are also possible.

What are the treatment options for bone cancer?

Treatment for bone cancer will vary depending on the type and stage of the disease and your overall health and preferences. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. It may be necessary to combine these treatments sometimes.

Surgery:

Surgery is the most common way to treat bone cancer. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor and as much healthy tissue around it as possible. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, this may involve amputating the affected limb. Only a portion of the bone needs to be removed in other cases.

Radiation therapy:

It aims to kill cancer cells by using high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons. We typically use it after surgery to help prevent cancer from coming back. However, radiation therapy can also be used to shrink tumors before surgery.

Chemotherapy:

Chemothrapy is a type of cancer treatment that involves using drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given intravenously (through an IV) or pill form. It is often used in combination with surgery and/or radiation therapy.

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    What are the side effects of bone cancer treatment?

    Side effects from bone cancer treatment will vary depending on the type and intensity of the treatment. Common side effects of surgery may include pain, swelling, and infection. Side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, skin irritation, and nausea. Chemotherapy’s side effects may include hair loss, mouth sores, and diarrhea.

    How can I prevent bone cancer?

    There is no sure way to prevent bone cancer. However, there are certain things you can do to lower your risk of developing the disease. These include avoiding exposure to high-dose radiation and staying at a healthy weight. If you have a family history of bone cancer, talk to your doctor about your risks and what you can do to reduce them.

    What is the prognosis for bone cancer?

    The prognosis for bone cancer depends on some factors, including the type and stage of the disease and your overall health. However, thanks to advances in treatment, the prognosis for bone cancer has improved significantly in recent years. The earlier the disease is caught, the better the prognosis.

    Moreover, the 5-year survival rate for all types of bone cancer is 83%. The 5-year survival rate for those with localized disease is 98%, while the 5-year survival rate for those with metastatic disease is 27%.

    Conclusion

    Bone cancer is rare cancer that affects the cells of a bone. A successful bone cancer treatment depends upon how fast it gets diagnosed and treated. If you experience any symptoms, consult an oncologist immediately.

    You can also book an appointment with our experts to know more about bone cancer in detail.

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