Bone Cancer Types, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis

Bone Cancer The body is made up if many small structures called cells. Cells of various types grow to form different parts of the body. If the growth and development of these cells is normal, they grow and divide continuously to make new cells. But when this normal control of cells is lost and cells begin to grow and divide out of control, the condition is called cancer.

The ability of cancerous cells to move and spread to other locations is called metastasis. The bone cancer is usually caused by metastasis of the cells from elsewhere of the body to the bones. Very rarely, a true bone cancer is seen that arises from the cells that make up the bone.

Prevalence: Bone cancer is usually seen in children and adolescent and rarely seen in older adults. Cancer involving the bone in older adults is most commonly the result of the metastasis of another tumor.

Types:

1.    Osteosarcoma: It is the most common malignant bone cancer. It occurs more often in long bones of arms and legs.

2.    Chondrosarcoma: It arises from cartilage cells and is slow growing. It is slightly more common in males than in females. It affects the bones of pelvis and hips.

3.    Ewing’s sarcoma: It is the most aggressive type of bone tumor. It is more common in males and more commonly occurs in the middle of the long bones of arms and legs.

4.    Fibrosarcoma: It is rarely seen. It affects the soft tissues of the legs behind the knees.

5.    Chondroma: It commonly affects either the lower or the upper end of spinal cord.

Symptoms:

1.    Pain: It is the most common symptom of all bone cancers. Initially, pain is only felt at night or at the time of the activity. Bone can also become weakened by the cancer and lead to a fracture after little or no trauma or just on standing on the affected bone.

2.    Fever, chills, night sweats and weight loss can also be there but not so commonly present. These symptoms are usually seen after the tumor has spread to the other parts of the body.

Diagnosis:

1.    Family History: Some types of cancers are more common in people if they have close family member that have had same type of cancer. So taking family history can help in its diagnosis.

2.    Testing the muscles strength can be done.

3.    Sensations to touch and reflexes can be tested.

4.    Certain blood tests can be some to identify the possibility of cancer.

5.    CT Scan gives information about the size and location of the cancer

6.    MRI Scan is more advanced technique that can provide better details of the soft tissues which include muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels.

7.    Biopsy: Once the cancer has been diagnosed, the biopsy can be obtained.

Treatment:

1.    Surgical removal of the cancer: The main target of the surgery is to remove the entire tumor and surrounding area of the normal bone which is affected by the tumor.

2.    Chemotherapy: It uses very powerful medications to kill the cancer cells. But unfortunately, some normal growing cells are also killed like hair cells, blood forming cells etc. which causes hairloss, infection like side effects.

3.    Radiation Therapy: Fatigue, loss of appetite and damage to the surrounding skin and soft tissues are the side effects of the radiation therapy.

So, good nutrition is required to fight the cancer and also to nullify the side effects of the treatment of the cancer.