Health Desk- Bone cancer, as the name itself suggests, is cancer that occurs in our bones. Bone cancer damages or weakens the bone. Its symptoms depend on the location of the tumor.
What is bone cancer?
Bone cancer is a term used for several different types of cancer that develop in the bones. When cancer cells grow in bone, they can damage normal bone tissue. The type of cell and tissue where the cancer begins determines the type of bone cancer.
Cancer that forms in the bone itself is called primary bone cancer. Many tumors that start in the organs or other parts of the body can spread to the bones as well as other parts of the body. These growths are called secondary or metastatic bone cancer. Tumors of the breast, prostate and lung usually spread to or metastasize to the bones.
How common is bone cancer?
Bone cancer is quite rare compared to other types of cancer. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of people in India are or are at risk of being affected by it. However, this cancer can happen to anyone at any age. These cancers are more common in children, adolescents, and young adults than in older adults.
What are the types of bone cancer?
There are four main types of primary bone cancer:
2. Ewing Sarcoma-
Where does bone cancer usually start?
Where bone cancer starts depends on the type of bone cancer a person has. Each bone cancer begins in a different way, which are described below: –
1. Osteosarcoma:- This most common type of bone cancer, osteosarcoma develops in the cells where new bone tissue is formed. It can start in any bone, but it most commonly starts at the ends of large bones such as the arms and legs. Providers usually diagnose osteosarcoma in children and adolescents.
2. Ewing sarcoma:- The type of bone cancer includes several different tumors that have similar characteristics and are believed to begin in the same type of cells. These tumors can form in the bones and surrounding soft tissue. Ewing sarcoma usually grows in the hips, ribs, and shoulder blades, or on long bones such as the legs.
3. Chondrosarcoma :- Chondrosarcoma starts in a tissue called cartilage. Cartilage is a soft connective tissue that allows movement between bones and joints. Some cartilage becomes bone when the body adds calcium to it. This cancer usually forms in the bones of the arms, legs or pelvis. Unlike osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, chondrosarcoma occurs more often in adults than in young people.
4. Chordoma:- This rare tumor starts in the bones of the spine. Usually at the base of the spine or at the base of the skull. Like chondrosarcoma, chordoma occurs most often in older adults. Men are more likely to develop this type of bone cancer than women.
Symptoms of bone cancer-
Some people with bone cancer have no symptoms other than feeling a painless lump. For others, a variety of symptoms may develop. These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, such as arthritis or Lyme disease, which can delay diagnosis. The most common symptoms of bone cancer include the following:
- Pain (usually worse at night).
- Unexplained swelling.
- Trouble getting around.
- Feeling extra tired (fatigue).
Bone cancer causes-
Experts aren’t sure what causes bone cancer, but they have found links between bone cancer and other factors. The most important factor is exposure to radiation or drugs during treatment for other cancers. Some bone cancers are caused by conditions that are passed down in families (hereditary), although this is not usually the case.
What are the stages of bone cancer?
The stage in bone cancer is determined by the size and location of the tumor, and whether or not the cancer has spread to other areas. Primary bone cancer is classified into the following four stages:-
Stage 1:- The tumor is low-grade, and the cancer cells are still localized.
Stage 2:- Cancer cells are still localized, but the tumor is high grade.
Stage 3:- The tumor is high-grade and the cancer has spread to other areas within the same bone.
Stage 4:- The cancer had spread from the bone to other areas of the body, such as the lungs or liver.
Bone cancer risk factors-
Following are some of the factors that increase the risk of bone cancer:-
1. Inherited genetic syndromes:- Some rare genetic syndromes passed down through families increase the risk of bone cancer, including Li-Fraumeni syndrome and hereditary retinoblastoma.
2. Paget’s disease of bone:- Usually occurring in older adults, Paget’s disease of bone can increase the risk of bone cancer developing later.
3. Radiation therapy for cancer :- Continuous exposure to radiation increases the risk of bone cancer in future. This is primarily a higher risk for the person receiving the treatment.
Bone cancer diagnosis-
To diagnose bone cancer, your healthcare provider will often use X-rays to view images of your bones. MRI and CT scans provide more detailed images of areas around the bones and are usually obtained before any treatment.
To confirm the diagnosis, your healthcare provider will perform a biopsy, where a small piece of tissue is removed from the bone to be examined under a microscope. A biopsy provides specific information about the cancer, including where it formed. Having this information helps doctors know which treatment will work best for a specific cancer.
Bone cancer treatment-
Bone cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, whether it has spread and if so, where. People with bone cancer often work with a team of healthcare providers to treat the condition. This group includes doctors who specialize in cancer (oncologists and radiation oncologists) and doctors who specialize in bones and joints (orthopedic surgeons).
Treatment of bone cancer usually involves a combination of approaches. The type and duration of these treatments vary depending on several factors, including the type of bone cancer, the size of the tumor, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. The most commonly used treatments include the following:-
1.Surgery :- Your surgeon removes the tumor and some of the healthy tissue around it. They can also repair or reconstruct affected bones with real or artificial bone grafts. Sometimes, an entire organ has to be removed to treat cancer. In this case, a prosthesis (prosthesis) can be used. Sometimes repeat surgery is needed if not all the cancer cells were removed the first time.
2. Radiation therapy :- This treatment shrinks the tumor with high doses of X-rays. Healthcare providers often use radiation before surgery to shrink the tumor so less tissue has to be removed.
3. Chemotherapy: – In this type of treatment, cancer cells are destroyed in the whole body with the help of medicine. People usually receive this medicine by swallowing a tablet or by injecting it into a vein. Your doctor may use chemotherapy to treat primary bone cancer or bone cancer that has spread.
Can bone cancer be prevented ?
Because experts don’t know exactly what causes bone cancer, there is currently no known way to prevent it. And since radiation therapy (another known cause of bone cancer) is necessary to treat other types of cancer, it cannot be avoided entirely.
Symptoms of bone cancer in leg-
1. Severe pain in bones-
If there is severe pain in the bones of your feet for a long time, then it is also considered as an early sign of bone cancer. In the problem of bone cancer, the tumor starts spreading in your bones and due to this the pain in your bones can increase gradually.
2. Fractures in bones-
Due to bone cancer, your bones become weak and due to this, there is a high risk of fractures in case of injury etc. to your bones. Instead of ignoring bone weakness, a doctor must be consulted.
3. Numbness of feet-
In the initial stage of bone cancer, there may be a problem of numbness or tingling in your feet. If this problem persists for a long time, then it can be an early sign of bone cancer.
4. Stiff legs-
Your bones become stiff when you have bone cancer or bone cancer. Because of this, you have to face serious difficulty in bending or walking the bones.
5. Severe inflammation in bones-
If the problem of swelling in the bones persists for a long time, it should not be ignored. If you have been suffering from bone swelling for a long time, then it can be considered as a symptom of bone cancer. Due to bone cancer, the problem of swelling in your bones is common.
At the onset of bone cancer, the symptoms mentioned above appear in your legs and bones. If you are also troubled by any of these symptoms, then you should immediately consult a doctor and seek treatment. There is no definite cause for the problem of bone cancer. Due to disturbances in food and lifestyle, you can also become a victim of this serious problem.
These signs appear in the body before getting bone cancer-
At the onset of bone cancer, some symptoms appear in the body as signs, it is beneficial to recognize these symptoms in time and take treatment.
1. If you have severe pain in your bones for a long time, then it should not be ignored. If the pain in your bones persists, then it can be a sign of bone cancer. In such a situation, you should first get it checked after taking the opinion of an expert doctor.
2. Weakening of bones at an early age can also be an early sign of bone cancer. If your bones are getting fractured again and again then it should not be ignored. In the problem of cancer in the bones, your bone becomes weak due to which repeated fractures can also happen.
3. Even if your weight is decreasing continuously for a long time, it can also be a sign of bone cancer. As cancer cells start growing in your body, your weight starts decreasing. Although there can be many reasons for the loss of weight, but in case of continuous weight loss, a doctor’s advice must be taken.
4. Abnormal swelling and lump formation in bone or any other part of the body is also considered as an early symptom of bone cancer. If there is a problem of swelling in your bones or other parts of the body for a long time, then do not ignore it at all.
5. The problem of stiffness in bones and joints is also considered as an early symptom of bone cancer. Although this problem is very common in old age, but if this problem persists for a long time, then it can also be a sign of bone cancer. Taking this problem lightly can be harmful for you.
6. The problem of numbness or tingling in the bones or its surrounding area can also be an early symptom of bone cancer. Tingling or numbness may be experienced as the tumor grows in the bones. Instead of ignoring it as normal, you must consult an expert doctor.
If you are feeling the symptoms mentioned above for a long time, then you should immediately consult a doctor. Timely detection and treatment of bone cancer is considered very useful. On seeing the symptoms of cancer, it is necessary to treat it immediately with a good doctor, otherwise it can be fatal due to negligence.
Lifestyle Changes After Cancer Treatment-
Actually, the treatment of cancer also has an impact on the physical, mental and emotional health of the person. Life after cancer treatment is not the same as it was before cancer. There is a possibility of getting cancer again in people who have been cured of cancer, so it is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid it.
1. Healthy Diet-
A healthy diet helps prevent cancer recurrence, heart disease, and diabetes in people who have recovered from cancer. Being overweight increases the risk of cancer. That’s why it is necessary to keep your weight under control.
- Include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy products in your diet.
- Avoid consuming cookies, white bread, fried foods. They are high in calories.
- Peanuts, avocado and vegetable oil can be included in the diet. They contain healthy fat and are low in calories.
- Eat slowly and chew food.
- Include probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet.
- Avoid red meat and other processed meats.
2. Physical fitness-
Being physically active can also reduce the risk of cancer. Exercising regularly improves the function of the immune system. This also keeps the weight under control. That’s why people recovering from cancer must do exercise daily. You should keep yourself physically active.
- Take a walk to stay active. Go cycling.
- You can also keep yourself active by dancing.
- You can also keep yourself physically fit by playing sports like swimming, aerobics, jumping rope, running, football, basketball.
- Stretching, flexibility exercises are also a good option.
- You can also keep yourself fit through yoga.
3. Stay away from alcohol and smoking-
By the way, all people should keep distance from alcohol or smoking. But people recovering from cancer should stop their consumption completely. Alcohol and smoking can invite many serious diseases. Also, it can also cause recurrence of cancer. That’s why never smoke or take alcohol after cancer treatment. Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes. Cigarettes are a risk factor for lung cancer.
4. Avoid Stress-
After cancer treatment, it is important for you to remain stress-free. Stress or anxiety causes many common to serious diseases. In such a situation, do not take stress at all to prevent cancer recurrence. You should avoid excessive stress, overthinking and frustration, these can have negative effects on your health.
- Meditate and practice yoga to stay stress free.
- Have a good time with your friends and family.
- Take 7-8 hours of sleep in a day.
If you too have been cured of cancer once, then definitely follow all the tips mentioned above to reduce the chances of its recurrence. Also, if you see any symptoms of cancer, see a doctor immediately.
Disclaimer- After reading this article, you must have understood what is bone cancer? What are its causes, symptoms and treatment? But this article has been written for educational purpose, it is not a substitute for treatment, so if you have any of the above problems, consult a qualified doctor.
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