Cancer » Bone Cancer
Bone cancer is a rare type of cancer and mostly develops in the bones of a person's body. Human body consists of more than 200 bones and the cancer may develop from any of them. Long bones like the bones present in our arms and legs are more prone to the disease. When the cancerous cells develop primarily in the bones, it is known as the primary cancer of bones. Secondary cancer of bones is a condition in which the cancerous cells develop in other areas of the body and reach the bones later.
Primary cancer occurs rarely and affects mostly the young adults. Pelvis, arms and legs are most prone to the disease. The cancer is more common in young adults. Osteosarcoma is the most common primary type of this cancer. It normally originates in the growing bones and the people within the age group of 10-25 are mostly prone to it. Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma and chondrosarcoma are some of the other types. Secondary cancer is the most common type of this cancer and most of the cases detected belong to this category. In majority of the cases, the cancerous cells originate in the thyroid, breast, kidney, prostate or lungs and spread to the bones later.
About the disease
It is very necessary to have thorough information about this cancer. Understanding the nature of the disease will help you in detecting the symptoms yourself and opt for the medical treatment in time.
Bones form a vital part of our body and play an important role in keeping the organs intact. They also protect the vital organs like the lungs and the heart. Bones are made up of living cells and tissues and may get infected by the cancer cells or tumor cells. In this cancer, a group of abnormal cells damages the tissues adjacent to them and disturbs the mechanism of the cell-growth. It also prevents the tissues from carrying out their normal functions. The cells usually destroy the tissues present in bones.
There can be two different types of tumors as benign and malignant. Benign tumors generally do not spread and hardly cause any damage to the tissues. Hence, they are not at all a threat to the patient's life. But the malignant cells are highly destructive and are typical cancer cells. They cause major damage in a considerably short time.
Bone cancer- General awareness
A sure cause of this cancer is not known till date but there are many factors that contribute to the development of cancer cells in the bones. Majority of the cases have been detected among the young people usually below the age of 25 years. The reason is that the cancer normally develops in the growing bones. Radiotherapy is recommended as a cure to the cancer but people who have undergone this treatment in the past are more prone to the disease.
Also, people who are closely related to the patient of bone cancer have a high risk of getting the disease. People who are suffering from paget's disease may fall prey to the cancerous cells. Babies suffering from umbilical hernia may also get caught by the disease. People having the Li-Fraumeni syndrome are also prone to the cancer. The cancer cells also develop in the bones of those suffering from the hereditary renoblastoma. Renoblastoma is a type of eye cancer and mostly occurs in young children. Family history of this cancer can also make a person more vulnerable to this disease. Bone cancer is easy to detect provided you do not ignore even the slightest of the symptoms. Pain in the bones is the most common and primary symptom of the disease. Also, pain and swelling in the joints must not be taken lightly and a physician should be contacted immediately. The pain in the joints and bones normally becomes severe at night. Also, if you experience problems in the general movement of the body, you must go for a thorough physical examination. There are some other symptoms like unexpected weight loss or fatigue.
Bone cancer cells spread deep into the bones and weaken them considerably. Thus, frequent fractures or cracks in the bones are some other alarming symptoms. The intensity or nature of the symptoms normally depends on the age of the victim and the bone in which the tumor develops. One may not experience the swelling or severe pain if the tumor is quite small. You must remember that the symptoms are just an indication and not a guarantee of the presence of cancer cells. The symptoms can also be detected in other normal diseases and you must consult your physician before reaching to any conclusion. How to deal with the disease?
There are various kinds of treatments available worldwide to diagnose and treat the disease. If you are aware of the causes and symptoms and consult your physician in time, you can get the best results. Nature of treatment generally depends upon the intensity of the disease and may vary from person to person. Also, the immunity system of the patient along with his ability to sustain the side effects of the treatment is considered before deciding the line of treatment. A healthy immune system and regular exercise is a must to fight the disease effectively. Eating vegetables, fruits and salad will keep your immunity system strong. Smoking and tobacco chewing should be discouraged.
There are various kinds of techniques like the CT (Computed Tomography) scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan and X-rays to examine the body internally and test it for the occurrence and intensity of the cancer cells. Bone scan and biopsy are also recommended to detect the disease.
Bone cancer is curable and some of the proven techniques like the radiation therapy and the chemical therapy will benefit immensely in controlling the abnormal cell-growth. Surgery can also be undertaken to remove the tumors and curb their recurrence. So, consult a cancer specialist for the right kind of treatment for you.