Bone cancer develops when unusual cells grow uncontrollably, which destroys normal bone tissue. It can start in the bone or spread there from other parts of the body. Many bone cancers are some of the rarer types of cancer, and they're known as bone neoplasms.
Here are types of bone cancer you need to know
Primary bone cancer, which develops in the bone, accounts for less than 1% of all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Primary bone cancers are also known as sarcomas. This cancer forms in the bone but can spread to other parts of the body. It most often develops in the long bones of the arms and legs.
There are four types of primary bone cancer:
Osteosarcoma – The kind of cancer detected in long bones- often in legs and sometimes in the arms. It tends to occur mostly in children and young adults.
Ewing Sarcoma – This kind of cancer usually grows in the bones or in the soft tissue around the bones, such as cartilage or the nerves. It usually affects people from the ages of 10 to 20 and has a high rate of being cured.
Chondrosarcoma – Chondrosarcoma is a cancer that starts in cartilaginous tissue. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that lines joints and covers the ends of bones. Chondrosarcoma most commonly develops in the pelvis, upper leg, and shoulder and grows slowly, though it can sometimes spread rapidly to other parts of the body. It is a type of cancer that typically affects those over the age of 40.
Chordoma – This uncommon tumor starts generally at the base of the spine or the base of the skull. Chordoma, like chondrosarcoma, is more common in older people. This kind of bone cancer is more common in men than in women.
Secondary bone cancer means that cancer began in another part of the body and has now spread to the bone (metastasized). It is also known as metastatic bone cancer, bone metastases, or bone mets. Bones commonly affected by secondary bone cancer include the spine, ribs, pelvis, and upper bones of the arms (humerus) and legs (femur). Because the bone is one of the most common places where cancer spreads, secondary bone cancer is more common than primary bone cancer.
Secondary bone cancer is described into two main types:
Osteolytic – In this type, bone is broken down without new bone being made. In some cases, holes form in the bone. These are known as lytic lesions. They can weaken the bone and increase the risk of breakage and other problems.
Osteoblastic – In this type, new bone is formed in some areas, but it grows abnormally. These areas are called osteoblastic lesions. The lesions are very hard (dense) but they make the bone weak and deformed.
Most people with secondary bone cancer develop either osteolytic or osteoblastic changes, but some have both.
The symptoms you should watch for
One of the most obvious symptoms of bone cancer is a lump, which is usually painless. However, there are other wide range of symptoms that one may experience. The following are the most prevalent symptoms of bone cancer:
The treatment options available
Treatment of bone cancer usually entails a combination of methods. The type of bone cancer, the size of the tumor, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body are all factors that influence the type and duration of treatment. Among the most common treatments are:
Surgery: The main goal of surgery is to remove all of the cancer. If even a small bit of cancer is left behind, it has the potential to grow into a new tumor and spread to other parts of the body. To lower the risk of this happening, surgeons remove the tumor plus some of the normal tissue around it. For this reason, one must have utmost faith in their doctor and patience in order to recover. At ACTC, patients receive treatment by some of the best cancer specialists in North Florida.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation treatment of bone cancer uses high doses of x-rays to shrink malignancies. Before surgery, doctors often employ radiation to reduce the tumor size so that less body tissue needs to be removed.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs for the treatment of bone cancer and other types of cancer as well. These drugs are usually given into a vein and can reach and destroy cancer cells anywhere in the body. Chemo kills cancer cells, but it can also affect some normal cells, which can lead to side effects. Therefore, it is very essential to get treated by expert medical oncologists.
At ACTC, our patients are our main priority. Our doctors, specialists, and support staff are compassionate, knowledgeable, and skilled in their disciplines. They are dedicated to excellence, as well as patients' health, happiness, and, most importantly, their comfortable and quick progress.