Bone cancer can be primary which is the cancer which forms in the cells of the bone or secondary bone cancer which is cancer that spreads from other parts of the body like the breast, prostate or lung to the bone. Bone cancer usually occurs when there is a problem with the cells that make bones.
Most Common Bone Cancers
This is the most common type and occurs mostly in males between the ages of ten and twenty five. The tumors will occur in the long bones of the legs and arms as well as around the shoulders and knees.
2. Ewing’s Sarcoma
This is an aggressive type of bone cancer that occurs in children who are between the ages of four and fifteen. It is found in the midpoint of the long bones in the legs and arms.
This cancer is the second most common type of bone cancer. The cancer occurs in cartilage cells and the tumors can be slow or aggressive when forming.
This is a very rare bone cancer which usually occurs in adults that are between the ages of thirty five and fifty five. It always shows up in the leg behind the knee.
This is also a very rare type of bone cancer and can occur when the patient is above thirty five years of age.
Common Symptoms and Effects
The symptoms of bone cancer develop slowly and also depend on the type, size and location of the tumor. The signs as well as symptoms include swelling of the joints and bone, painful bones and joints, difficulties with movement as well as susceptibility to fractures. There may also be tiredness, unexplained weight loss, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fever, general distress and pain in the abdomen
Bone cancer is mostly diagnosed in the long bones of the legs and arms. The diagnosis involves tests that include bone scans and X-rays to show the exact size and location of the cancer. Bone biopsy is also done where a sample of the cancer from the bone is removed and then examined in the laboratory for any presence of malignant cells. Another test that can be done is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan that is similar to a CT scan although it uses magnetism instead of x-rays.
The treatment of bone cancer depends on factors that include the type as well as extent of the cancer, the age of the patient and the overall health status. The tumors can be treated with radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy.
In the primary bone cancers, the tumor that surrounds the bone tissue and nearby lymph nodes can be surgically removed. In cases that are severe, the affected limb can be amputated.
Treatment can also include chemotherapy and radiotherapy which can be done before surgery, so that the cancer can be shrunk and later on destroyed.
The treatment of secondary bone cancer will include radiotherapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy. However surgery may be needed just to strengthen the affected bone.