Bone cancer Types , Causes , Symptoms and treatment

Bone cancer

It starts in the cells that make up the bones , It starts when the cells in the body begin to grow out of control , It is the malignant ( cancerous ) tumor of the bone which destroys the normal bone tissues , The primary and metastatic bone cancers are treated differently and have a different prognosis.

The malignant tumors that begin in the bone tissue are called the primary bone cancer , The cancer that metastasizes to the bones from the other parts of the body like the breast , the lung , or the prostate is called the metastatic cancer , and it is named for the organ or the tissue in which it began .

Both the malignant and the benign bone tumors may grow and compress the healthy bone tissue but the benign tumors do not spread , they do not destroy the bone tissue , and they are rarely a threat to life , The primary bone cancer is far less common than the cancer which spreads to the bones .

Bone cancer

Bone cancer

Types of primary bone cancer

The cancer can begin in any type of the bone tissue , The bones are made up of the osteoid ( hard or compact ) , the cartilaginous ( tough , flexible ), and the fibrous ( threadlike ) tissue , as well as the elements of the bone marrow ( soft , spongy tissue in the center of most bones ) .

The popular types of primary bone cancer include Osteosarcoma that arises from the osteoid tissue in the bone , It occurs  in the knee and upper arm , The Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors ( ESFTs ) that occur in the bone but may arise in the soft tissue ( the muscle , the fat , the fibrous tissue , the blood vessels , or the other supporting tissue ) .

The scientists think that ESFTs arise from the elements of the primitive nerve tissue in the bone or the soft tissue , ESFTs occur along the backbone and the pelvis and in the legs and the arms , The other types of cancer which arise in the soft tissue are called the soft tissue sarcomas , And they are not bone cancer .

The chondrosarcoma that begins in the cartilaginous tissue , The cartilage pads the ends of bones and lines the joints , It occurs most often in the pelvis ( It is located between the hip bones ) , the upper leg , and the shoulder , Sometimes the chondrosarcoma contains the cancerous bone cells , So , The doctors classify the tumor as an osteosarcoma .

Causes of bone cancer

The bone cancer does not have a clearly defined cause , Osteosarcoma takes place due to the external radiation therapy high-dose or the treatment with some anticancer drugs .

The osteosarcoma occurs most commonly between the ages 10 and 19 , The people over age 40 who have the other conditions such as Paget disease ( the benign condition characterized by the abnormal development of new bone cells ) .

The children seem to be particularly susceptible , The small number of bone cancers are due to heredity , The children who have had hereditary retinoblastoma are at the higher risk of developing osteosarcoma , particularly if they are treated with radiation .

The people who have the hereditary defects of the bones and the people with the metal implants that the doctors sometimes use to repair the fractures , are more likely to develop osteosarcoma , The primary bone cancer is rare , It accounts for much less than 1 percent of all cancers .

The chondrosarcoma occurs mainly in the older adults that are over age of 40 , This disease rarely occurs in the children and the adolescents , ESFTs occur in the children and the adolescents under 19 years of age , The boys are affected more often than the girls .

Signs and symptoms of bone cancer

The pain is the most popular symptom of the bone cancer but not all bone cancers cause the pain , The persistent or the unusual pain or swelling in or near the bone can be caused by the cancer or by the other conditions .

The pain in the affected bone is the most popular complaint of the patients with the bone cancer , the pain is not constant , It may be worse at night or when the bone is used ( the leg pain when walking) , When the cancer grows , The pain increases with the activity and the person might limp if the leg is involved .

The swelling in the area of the pain may not occur until weeks later , It might be possible to feel the lump or the mass depending on the location of the tumor , The cancers in the bones of the neck can cause the lump in the back of the throat that can cause trouble in swallowing or it can make it hard to breathe .

The bone cancer may weaken the bone but the bones do not fracture ( break ) , The people with the fracture next to or through the bone cancer usually describe the sudden severe pain in the limb that had been sore for a few months .

There are other symptoms , The cancer in the bones of the spine can press on the nerves , leading to the numbness and tingling or even weakness , The cancer can cause the weight loss and the fatigue .

If the cancer spreads to the internal organs it may cause other symptoms , too , if the cancer spreads to the lung , you may have trouble breathing , The symptoms are more due to the conditions other than the cancer such as the injuries or the arthritis .

Treatment options for bone cancer

The treatment options depend on the type , the size , the location , and the cancer stage , The person’s age , the general health , The treatment options for the bone cancer include the surgery , the chemotherapy , the radiation therapy , and the cryosurgery ( It is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill the cancer cells , It can  be used instead of the conventional surgery to destroy the tumor ) .

The surgery is the usual treatment for the bone cancer , The surgeon removes the entire tumor with negative margins , The surgeon may use the special surgical techniques to decrease the amount of healthy tissue removed with the tumor .

The dramatic improvements in the surgical techniques and the preoperative tumor treatment have made it possible for most patients with the bone cancer in an arm or leg to avoid the radical surgical procedures ( removal of the entire limb ) , most patients who undergo limb-sparing surgery need the reconstructive surgery to maximize the limb function .

The chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill the cancer cells , The Patients who have the bone cancer usually receive the combination of anticancer drugs , The chemotherapy is not currently used to treat the chondrosarcoma .

The radiation therapy is called the radiotherapy , High-energy x-rays is used to kill the cancer cells , This treatment may be used in combination with the surgery , It is used to treat the chondrosarcoma that can not be treated with the chemotherapy , as well as ESFTs , It may be used for the patients who refuse the surgery .

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