What Is Bone Cancer? Understand its Causes and Treatment.

Till date, you have been read/ know about different types of cancers. Bone Cancer is one of them, which is rarely known by a few people. 

Want to know what exactly it is? Then read this article till the end and gain some valuable knowledge about it. 

Bone cancer which in scientific terms is also known as Osteosarcoma (OS) or Osteogenic Sarcoma (OGS) is a cancerous tumor in the bones. Notably, it is an aggressive kind of malignant neoplasm that surfaces from the primitive transformed cells of mesenchymal hence it is called sarcoma. After surfacing it exhibits osteoblastic differentiation and produces malignant osteoid. It is the most common form of primary bone sarcoma in young adults as well as teenagers.

Bone cancer can start at any bones in our body and the most common-place is the pelvis or the long bones in our legs and arms. It makes up less than 1 % of all cancers making it a very rare cancer. It has been widely observed that noncancerous bone tumors are more common than cancerous ones. It is not similar to other cancers that start someplace in the body and then spread out as most cancer cells do. Rather they are named as the place where they begin.

Bone cancer which in scientific terms is also known as Osteosarcoma (OS) or Osteogenic Sarcoma (OGS) is a cancerous tumor in the bones.
Bone cancer can start at any bones in our body and the most common-place is the pelvis or the long bones in our legs and arms.

Different types of bone cancer occur firstly in children, while some others affect mainly adults. The most common method of treatment is surgery, while chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also used. The decision to go for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation depends on the type of bone cancer which is being treated. 

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Causes of Bone Cancer

What are the reasons behind having bone cancer?? What is responsible for it? Let’s see what are the causes of bone cancer:

  • The main cause as to why it occurs is still unknown. But a small number of cases have been linked to the hereditary component, while some were related to earlier radiation exposure.
  • Researchers are trying to find out about cancer stem cells. As well as the potential to cause tumors alongside genes and proteins in various phenotypes.
  • Cases where chromosome 13q14 is deleted results in inactivation of the retinoblastoma gene which is also associated with a huge risk of osteosarcoma development.
  • Bone dysplasias that also involves Paget’s disease of bone, enchondromatosis, dysplasia, and different hereditary multiple exostoses can raise the risk of bone cancer. 

Types of Bone Cancer

Classification of bone cancers is done in separate types based on the type of cell where cancer first began to grow. The most typical types of bone cancer are: – 

  1. Osteosarcoma: – It is the most typical kind of bone cancer. In osteosarcoma, the cancer cells produce bones and it mostly occurs in young adults and children in the bones of legs and arms. In the rarest of rare conditions, osteosarcoma arises outside of bones which are recognize as extraskeletal osteosarcoma.
  2. Chondrosarcoma: – Chondrosarcoma is the second most typical type of bone cancer which is majorly found around the pelvis, arms, or legs. It mainly occurs in middle-aged adults and older adults. It is a malignant tumor that is a mixture of cartilage generating cells and also one of the most difficult bone tumors to diagnose and treat. 
  3. Ewing sarcoma: – This is a very rare type of bone cancer that grows on the bones or on the soft tissue around the bones like nerves or cartilage. It mainly affects children and teenagers from the age of 10-20 years old, has a very high rate of being cured. It arises in the pelvis, and around the arms and legs.

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Symptoms

If you want to know what exactly this cancer is then you must know the symptoms of bone cancer.

  • Patients first start complaining about a pain that may be worse at night or maybe intermittent and be of different severity that may be occurring for a while. 
  • Teenagers who are active in sports complain about pain surrounding the lower region of the femur or pan just below the knee. 
  • In some cases, the sudden fracture is a symptom as the affected bone is not as strong as the remaining normal bones and can also abnormally fracture with minor trauma.
  • Tumors that are originating in the pelvis may not be clear as they are not as close to the skin. 
  • Another main symptom of this is bone pain, inadvertent weight loss, fatigue, and enfeeble bone leading to fracture.

Stages of Bone Cancer

A system that is utilized to stage all types of bone cancer is the American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) system. T stands for the size of the tumor, N stands for the spread to lymph nodes, M stands for metastasis, and G is utilizing for the grade of the tumor.

T Stages of Bone Cancer 

  • TX: – Primary tumor which can’t be measured
  • To: – There is no proof of tumor
  • T1: – Now tumor is around 3 inches or 8cm or less
  • T2: – It is larger than 3 inches
  • T3: – Tumour is present in more than one place at the very same bone

N Stages of Bone Cancer

  • No: – The cancerous cells have not spread to the lymph nodes near the tumor
  • N1: – Cancer has now spread to the nearby lymph nodes

M Stages of Bone Cancer 

  • Mo: – Cancer has not spread anyplace outside the bone or around the nearby lymph nodes
  • M1: – It has spread which means distant metastasis
  • M1a: – Cancer has now spread over to the lungs 
  • M1b: – Cancer has now spread to other sites. 

Grades of Bones Cancer

  • G1-G2: – Low grade
  • G3-G4: – High grade

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Treatment

All most every disease has its different treatments. Like that there are the treatments of bone cancer are as follows: – 

  1. Surgical Method: – Surgery is the main treatment for most kinds of bone treatment. A doctor can plan to do surgery and also a biopsy which is taking out some part of the tumor for testing it in a lab. 
  2. Radiation Therapy: – Radiation therapy makes use of high-energy rays or particles to kill cancerous cells. An external beam is radiation carry from outside the body to kill cancer. 
  3. Chemotherapy: – Chemo makes use of drugs to treat a particular kind of cancer. Drugs are injected into the bloodstream and they circulate to reach and destroy cancerous cells all over the body. 

Prevention

Various factors are responsible for causing different types of cancer. Research is being out on what factors cause this type of cancer. Unfortunately, there is no proven method to prevent bone cancer. Early detection is the only best chance for successful treatment. 

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