Bone Cancer Causes

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Bone cancer causes are little known to present day research. There are no specific causes of bone cancer. Research, however, does point to certain risk factors and probable causes of bone cancer. However no doctor can say for sure what caused the bone cancer.

There are three most probable causes of bone cancer. They are,

  1. Genetic mutation and genetic defects or hereditary factors can cause bone cancer. Of this Li-Fraumeni syndrome is well documented and is considered a risk factor to induce osteosarcoma. Apparently, damage to TP53 gene can also lead to increased probability of tumors.
  2. Exposure to radiation is known factor to induce bone cancer. Exposure to nuclear radiation such as in nuclear power plant or nuclear blast, exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure while working with medical imaging devices can also increase the risk of cancer
  3. Trauma and previous history of cancer can induce bone cancer. Repeated trauma or injury to the cancer affected part may increase the risk of bone cancer

However, there is no proven relation between these risk factors and cancer. Often the causes might be very difficult to identify.

Some other probable factors that cause bone cancer are,

  • Smoking, tobacco, betel nut chewing etc are known to cause lung and mouth cancer. These can spread to the surrounding bone and cartilage
  • Sedentary lifestyle, obesity, lack of exercise, over intake of growth hormones are known to increase possibility of cancer
  • Exposure to carcinogens like asbestos, radium, cobalt, nickel, quartz or crystalline silica , charcoal, tar , etc are known to increase the risk of cancers

Bone Cancer Causes Bone cancer can be of primary or secondary nature. Primary bone cancer stems from the affected bone itself. Secondary bone cancer on the other hand is caused by surrounding tissue or cartilage that has been infected by a cancerous tumor. The tumor spreads to the bone and causes weakening of the bone structure.

Malignant cancer is a cancer in which cells grow rapidly and uncontrollably and tend to form node or lumps on organs. They easily invade adjoining areas. The commonly occurring types of malignant bone cancers are Osteosarcomas , Ewing's sarcoma and Multiple myeloma

Ewing's sarcoma: It can occur during the growing years. It is especially observed in pubescents. It affects usually the longer bones. Its main cause is attributed to chromosomal translocation of chromosomes numbered 11 and 22. Genetic exchange between these chromosomes can lead to Ewing's sarcoma. It usually affects the longer bones like the bones of the pelvis, femur, arms, legs and rib. Metastasis or spreading of the tumor occurs in most patients

Osteosarcoma: It usually occurs during the developing years and most patients are found to be in the age group of up to 20 years. It can be caused by abnormal growth of the cells responsible for bone growth. These are located in deeper layers of the bone marrow. It causes primary bone cancer. There are no known direct causes of Osteosarcoma. However, the risk factors are Paget's disease, Radiation exposure. It usually affects the tibia, pelvic, knee, jaw, shin, thigh and shoulder joints

Multiple myeloma: It is the cancer related to plasma cells. These abnormal cells fill up the bone and adjoining areas. They affect the production of other blood cells from the bone marrow. This results in tumors weakening of the bone structure. It usually occurs in older people. It affects the ribs and the spine and leads to bone destruction and fractures. It can cause multiple ailments like

Hypercalcemia, reduced immunity and infections, anemia and gastrointestinal disorders like renal failure. Dysregulation and translocation of genes such as chromosome 14 and oncogenes are known contributing factors that can cause Multiple myeloma

Bone cancer symptoms and treatment: Bone cancer symptoms are often observed as pain. Pain in the joints and affected bones is most common symptom. Patients often suffer from fractures of the bone. Other symptoms include fatigue, weakness or lethargy and stomach disorders.

Bone cancer is diagnosed using bone scans, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and X-rays.

If bone cancer is detected treatment will include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Bone cancer can lead to fatal complications such as losing one's limb.

Bone cancer causes are yet to be ascertained by researchers. Whatever the causes may be, do not ignore bone cancer symptoms and bone cancer treatments.

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