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Bone Cancer Symptoms


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Bone cancer symptoms can be seen as a precursor of a serious ailment. Bone cancer can lead to an extremely fatal condition. It can lead to amputation of limbs or prolonged surgical treatments.

Bone cancer occurs due to abnormal growth of cells in and around the bones. It can weaken the bone structure. It can lead to inflammation, pain and severe infection of the bones. Bone cancer can affect almost all parts of the body. The part which is affected determines the name of the bone cancer. For example, limb bone cancer is related to the cancer of the bones present in leg or hand.

Bone cancer is often categorized as primary bone cancer or secondary bone cancer. Primary bone cancer is cancer that occurs in the bone. Secondary bone cancer is when cancer spreads from other locations to the affected bone.

Sarcoma is a term related to tumors of the bone, cartilage and hematopoietic tissues. Patients with bone cancer are said to have osteo-sarcoma.

Symptoms of bone cancer:

Bone Cancer SymptomsSymptoms of bone cancer often do not manifest themselves till it's too late. Often these symptoms are mistaken with symptoms of arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Many people ignore these as symptoms of aging, fatigue or sports injuries. The symptoms can be spread and remain undetected over few weeks or months and sometimes for years, before an accurate diagnosis is made. This makes it all the more difficult to detect and treat bone cancer. Often it becomes too late to get medical help and the person may end up losing a limb or undergoing extremely complex surgery.

Bone cancer symptoms vary from each person to person. They vary as per location, part and size of the bone that is affected. The most common of all symptoms of bone cancer is pain.

The symptoms of bone cancer keep on increasing with time. Initially, pain is felt often while doing physical activity. In older patients, the symptoms like pain are felt during the nights

Fibrosarcoma or MFH results in swelling. This swelling consists of mass or a lump formation. It usually occurs in the tissues surrounding the bone. Sometimes, it occurs in the bone itself. Such conditions can also occur with other variety of bone tumors.

Some common symptoms of bone cancer are,

  • Pain can be recurrent or chronic. It may ebb or grow every now and then. Pain often radiates to other or surrounding part of the bone that is affected
  • Headache is possible in patients with brain tumors. Bone cancer of the skull may show symptoms like vertigo, recurrent and severe headaches and even seizures
  • Chest and shoulder pain is common with patients with lung cancer. Coughing, hemoptysis and dyspnea is associated with bone cancers of the upper body
  • Lower back pain and spinal cord compression is possible in patients with ovarian or colon cancer or bone cancers of the lower body. If pain is associated with the pelvis, femur ribs or humerus, it could point to ewings sarcoma
  • Inflammation, swelling formation of lumps is accompanied by pain in the affected area. On the other hand, the patient may not experience any pain at all except swelling or formation of lumps or occasional tenderness

During these diseases, although the tumors affect the tissues, there is high probability that the tumor may invade the bone structure and the bone marrow.

Some other probable symptoms of bone cancer are,

Weight loss: Sudden weight loss is possible in patients. This can be accompanied by digestive disorders. Often it is characterized by nausea, vomiting, lack of bowel movements or diarrhea

Fever: Fever is common in patients with bone cancer often the fever goes hand in hand with sudden night sweating. Fever may be followed by colds or chills. This could mean that the cancer is spreading to other parts of the body.

Fatigue: Fatigue is possible in malignant and non malignant bone cancer. Patients often complain of feeling of tiredness and weakness.

Fractures: The weakening of the bone structure may cause pathological fractures. These can occur even while doing strenuous physical activity or during minor impacts or accidents.

Bone cancer symptoms point to a cancer that may affect you permanently. Although, these symptoms may be difficult to discern, it is best not ignore any such symptoms. Regular medical checkups and whole body scans can help you detect such cancer in the initial stages.

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