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Bone Cancer Therapy


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Bone cancer therapy is possible with the help of various treatments but these treatments are not at all easy. Treatments of bone cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy followed by more treatments such as physiotherapy or pain management therapy. Thus, it requires a combination of treatments.

Bone cancer is a disease in which cancer cells multiply rapidly and destroy the bone structure. They can affect the bone marrow and bone cartilage. Bone cancers can invade the strong bone structure and affect the organs near the bone. Bone cancers can be of malignant variety which means they spread to other parts of the body. The nature of primary bone cancer is that it remains confined to the bone that is affected whereas secondary bone cancer is caused due to other organs being affected by other forms of cancer. Bone cancer is rarer than other forms of cancer but it is known for its equally terrible or fatal consequences.

Bone Cancer Therapy Bone cancer weakens the bone structures and shows up with symptoms such as pain, recurrent or chronic bone and joint pain, bone deformities, presence of tumors and bone fractures. You suffer from physical exhaustion, fatigue and weakness or tiredness. These symptoms may appear similar to that of aging or arthritis or even over working. Therefore a full diagnosis is advised such as CT or computerized tomography, x-ray, bone scan and bone biopsy. Only a full and immediate diagnosis can reveal the stage of the bone cancer as well as the extent to which it has spread.

Breakthroughs can be based on medical or non-medical aspects and can play valuable role in blood cancer therapy. Once a conclusive diagnosis is achieved, therapy can be started.

Bone cancer therapy: Bone cancer affects the deeper tissues within and outside the bone. It severely damages the bone structure. Bones lie deep within our bodies and therefore it is not easy to treat bone cancer. Conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy may not achieve the desired treatment. This is why a combination of chemo and radiation therapy along with surgery is used to treat bone cancer.

If you are diagnosed with bone cancer your doctor may advise you to admit yourself to a cancer hospital. A team of doctors specializing in orthopedics, radiation and chemo therapy, surgery as well as neurosurgeons may be called in to decide the course of treatment. The doctors first reduce the size of cancerous tumors or presence of cancerous cells by using radiation and chemotherapy. Once a significant improvement is achieved a small surgery may be done to get rid of the affected bone. In extreme cases immediate surgery may be advised.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy or XRT is used to destroy cancerous cells. It works by destroying the DNA that causes the uncontrolled growth of the cells. Internally given radiation is known as brachytherapy and externally given radiation is known as external beam radiotherapy. Radiation reduces the nodes and tumors as well as destroys cancer cells.

The side effects associated with radiation are,

  1. Burning of skin and dryness
  2. Increased sensitivity or cognitive impairment
  3. Infertility
  4. Loss of hair
  5. Gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation

Technology and modern drugs have made these side effects manageable.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves use of cytotoxic drugs or antineoplastic medications. These chemicals kill the cells that multiply rapidly and uncontrollably. Chemotherapy destroys cancer causing cells.

Side effects of chemotherapy are,

  1. Increased possibility of infections due to immune suppression
  2. Hair loss
  3. Nausea diarrhea
  4. Vomiting
  5. Weakness and fatigue
  6. Infertility

Surgery: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy don't always work with bone cancer. Bone cancer often spreads throughout the bone. It may also affect the surrounding cartilage or tissues and muscles. There is a danger that it may spread to other organs. Therefore surgery must be carried out to completely treat the cancer. Surgery may be of two types. Amputation surgery is performed to remove the affected organ. This might result in a loss of a limb such as hand or feet. Limb saving or sparing surgery is done to save the limb from amputation. This involves techniques like bone grafting or inserting a artificial bone.

Even after chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy, the patient might have to undergo extensive rehabilitation therapy. This is targeted to improve the quality of life for the patient. It involves multiple disciplines like physiotherapy and psychological counseling.

Bone cancer therapy is thus in fact a combination of various therapies. Bone cancer symptoms should never be ignored so that early detection and diagnosis is possible. Remember the earlier you go in bone cancer therapy the higher are the chances of you surviving fatal complications.

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