Bone cancer is one of the rare or unusual types of cancer that grows in bone and destroys normal bone tissue. Bone cancer that starts in the bone can also spread to other body organs.
Most bone cancers are benign, which aren’t cancerous, and don’t spread to other body parts, but still, they tend to weaken the bones, leading to broken bones and other bone-related issues.
Signs of bone cancer
Bone cancer can develop in any body bone, but it typically grows in legs and upper arms. The primary signs of bone cancer are:
- Constant bone pain that worsens over time and during nights
- Redness and swelling over a bone, which makes it hard to make movements
- Sudden waking up at night
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Lump over a bone
- Easy fractures than normal
- Difficulties in regular activities—limping around+
Types of bone cancer
Following are some primary types of bone cancers:
- Osteosarcoma is a common bone cancer that usually affects children and young adults.
- Ewing sarcoma is most common among people between the age of 10–20
- Chondrosarcoma affects adults over the age of 40
Bone cancer affects young people because of the rapid growth that occurs during puberty and paves the way to developing bone tumors. The above-mentioned bone cancers can simulate different types of cells, so the treatments depend on the type of cancer.
Causes of bone cancer
There is no particular reason why people develop bone cancer in most cases, but the following are some risks of developing one:
- Exposure to radiation or radiotherapy
- Diagnosed with Paget’s disease, a none condition (but only a few people with this condition have developed bone cancer)
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome is an uncommon genetic condition in which people have a defective version of genes that usually helps stop the growth of the tumorous cells.
Diagnosis for bone cancer
The doctor will examine the symptoms and medical history, and conduct tests like:
- MRI scans
- Bone scans
- PET scans
- Blood tests to find two enzymes
- Biopsy, a procedure where the doctor takes a tumor sample to examine the stage/type of the bone cancer and the spreading speed.
Treatment for bone cancer
Bone cancer treatments usually depend on the type of cancer developed and the spread. But following some standard treatments given for bone cancer:
- Surgery where the section of cancerous bone removed
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 23 JUNE 2022