Bone Cancer can develop in all types of bone tissue. It also in the blood forming cells of the bone marrow. Primary bone cancer begins from the bone. Most cancers that originate in bone tissue are sarcomas.
Bone Cancer Overview
Cancer often spreads to the bones from other sites in the body. It occurs when the other cells try to match with the cancer cells. It may not be bone cancer cells. This type of cancer is secondary type. Bones have dense tissue which makes the structure of body.
Most bones are hollow and consist of bone cells. Bone tissue consists of two types of cells. Osteoblast is responsible for bone formation and osteoclasts are for dissolving bone tissue.
Bone tissue is always changing. New bone cells are constantly forming and old bone cells are constantly dissolving. Bone marrow is soft tissue inside the bones. It contains blood forming cells and other cells as well.
Types of Bone Cancer
There are a number of different types of bone cancers. Benign bone tumors include osteomas, osteoblastomas, and osteochondromas. These types of bone cancers are treating surgically.
The most common type of bone tumor is Osteosarcoma. It develops in bones of the arms, legs and pelvis.
Other types of bone cancer include the following:
- Chondrosarcoma (develops in the cartilage)
- Chordoma (usually develops in the spine and the base of the skull)
- Ewing’s tumor (often develops in the long bones of the arms and legs)
- Fibrosarcoma (usually develops in other types of connective tissue e.g., ligaments, tendons)
- Giant cell tumor (may be benign; usually develops in the bone of the legs or arms)
- Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH; rarely occurs in bone tissue)
Signs and Symptoms of Bone Cancer
The most common sign of bone cancer is bone pain. It becomes worse at night and doing any activity. If the cancer is in leg then it causes a limp. It also develops a swelling on bone. It also weak the bone and leads to breakage. There are some other signs as well as follows.
- Anemia (reduced red blood cell count)
- Weight loss
Bone cancer Treatment
It depends on the phase and location of the disease to cure bone cancer. It also depends on the age and health of the patient. The treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There are some other methods to deal it.
It is a remedy to bring back the defense system against cancer. It uses in the remedy of primary bone cancer.
Surgery to Treat Bone Cancer
The common method to cure bones cancers may be operation. The doctor will remove the tumor and some healthy tissues from the surrounds. This method is limb sparing surgery. There are some other cases in which the whole limb or part of limb will remove. In some cases where the cancer touches the lymph nodes then a lymph node dissection method will help to cure cancer. In some cases where non-natural device replaces with other bone tissues. This is reconstructive surgery.
Chemotherapy to Treat Bone Cancer
It is a method in which the drugs travel throughout the body in blood. The drugs will destroy the cancer cells. There are two methods of this treatment. One method is in the form of pill and the other is by needle into a vein. In many cases it may use more than one drug.
This treatment is occurring in two methods. One method is using after the surgery to destroy the rest of the cancer cells. In some cases, it is using before surgery to lower the level of cancer.
In some other type of cancer like Ewing’s tumor, a stem cell will use to cure it. A stem cell is in bone marrow and lymphatic tissue. In this treatment the drugs will destroy the cancer cell quickly by dividing the cells and then the patient will get healthy cells from stem cells.
This treatment may cause serious side effects. It may include the following.
- Anemia (reduced red blood cell count)
- Hair loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced blood cell counts
Radiation Therapy to Treat Bone Cancer
This treatment uses rays to destroy cancer cells. These rays are high in energy. It treats from outside the body by direct rays. It may effect on skin.
Uses and Risk Factors
There are some cases in which bone cancers does not show itself. The patients do not have any risk factor as well. Sometime it occurs from gene and will develop in the form of bone cancer.
Li-Fraumeni disease is a rare genetic disorder. It increases the risk for developing Osteosarcoma. It also leads to other types of cancer, especially in children and young ones.
There are some other risk factors for bone cancer. It includes radiation treatment. It effects on young age and bone marrow transplant.
Bone cancer Prognosis
The primary stage varies in patient’s condition. It depends on the type and stage of the cancer. The AJCC has designed the stage of bone cancer.
Staging of Bone Cancer
The staging system shows TNMG form.
- T means the size of the cancer
- N means the node
- M means metastasis
- G means cancer grade
From these stages the doctor can analyze the tumor. These stages will further divide into different points to understand the stage of cancer.
- T0: No evidence of the tumor
- T1: Tumor is 8 cm (3 inches) or less
- T2: Tumor is larger than 8 cm
- T3: Tumor cells detected at another site(s) on the same bone
- N0: No spread to nearby lymph nodes
- N1: Cancer detected in nearby lymph nodes
- M0: No distant metastasis
- M1: Distant metastasis (cancer has spread to other tissues or organs)
- M1a: Cancer has spread only to the lung
- M1b: Cancer has spread to other sites
- G1–G2: Low grade
- G3–G4: High grade
TNM Staging of Bone Cancer
Stage IA: T1, N0, M0, G1-G2: The cancer does not reach to bone. It is less than 8cm in size and low in grade.
Stage IB: T2, N0, M0, G1-G2: the cancer does not reach to bone. It is larger than 8cm and is low in grade.
Stage IIA: T1, N0, M0, G3-G4: The cancer reaches to bone. It is less than 8cm in size and high in grade.
Stage IIB: T2, N0, M0, G3-G4: The cancer reaches to bone. It is larger than 8cm and high in grade.
Stage III: T3, N0, M0, any G: the cancer reaches to bone. Its cells show on other sites on the bones.
Stage IVA: Any T, N0, M1a, any G: the cancer has spread to lungs.
Stage IVB: Any T, N1, Any M, any G: the cancer has spread to nodes and other sites.
In stage 1 the cancer shows the first stage and stage 4 is the final stage of cancer and it leads to death.
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