- What Is It?
- 2 Main Types
- How to Treat
What is bone cancer?
Bone cancer occurs when there is an abnormal multiplication of the bone cells. It can arise from any bone in the body. The most commonly affected bones are the pelvis (hip bone) and long bones in the arms and legs such as the humerus and femur bone. Bone cancer is rare. Noncancerous bone tumors are more common than cancerous tumors. Some types of bone cancer affect adults, whereas others are common in children. Bone cancer destroys the normal bone and can spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). There are various treatment options for bone cancer such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
What are the types of bone cancer?
There are two main types of bone cancer:
- Primary bone cancer
- Secondary bone cancer
Primary bone cancer
Primary bone cancer is also called sarcoma. It starts in the bone. Some of the most common types of primary bone cancer are as follows:
- Osteosarcoma: It usually arises from around the knees and upper arm. Young adults and teenagers are usually affected.
- Ewing’s sarcoma: It occurs between the ages of 5 and 20 years. The ribs, pelvis, leg, and upper arm are usually affected, including the soft tissue around the bones.
- Chondrosarcoma: It occurs between the ages of 40 and 70 years. The hip, shoulders, leg, and arm are usually affected. It arises from the cartilage cells.
Secondary bone cancer
This occurs when cancer starts in other parts of the body and spreads to the bone. This is also called metastatic cancer.
Cancer that commonly spread to the bone are as follows:
What are the causes of bone cancer?
The exact cause of bone cancer is unknown. Some factors increase the risk of bone cancer, which are as follows:
What are the symptoms of bone cancer?
The common symptoms of bone cancer are as follows:
How is bone cancer diagnosed?
The doctor performs a complete physical assessment and complete blood and radiological assessment (X-ray, computed tomography [CT] scan, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], positron emission tomography [PET]/whole body scan and bone scan). A minimally invasive, diagnostic procedure called a biopsy can confirm the diagnosis and also assess if the cancer is primary or secondary. During a biopsy, a tumor sample is obtained with a needle or through a small cut in the skin and examined under the microscope.
How is bone cancer treated?
There are various treatment options for bone cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Treatment may involve one or a combination of treatment modalities. The treatment plan is based on the type and extent of bone cancer. Common treatments options include the following:
- Limb salvage surgery: It is the surgical removal of part of the affected bone without the surrounding muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. A metallic implant is used in place of the bone removed.
- Amputation: If the tumor is large and affects the surrounding tissues, nerves, and blood vessels, the whole limb may be removed and replaced with a prosthetic limb.
- Radiation therapy: This targets and selectively kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors using radiation.
- Chemotherapy: The tumor cells are killed with cancer medication.
- Targeted therapy: This treatment uses medication to target certain genetic, protein, or other changes in and around cancer cells.
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Bone CancerBone cancer is a rare type of cancer that occurs in cells that make up the bones. Primary bone cancer that arises in bone cells is different than metastatic bone cancer, which is cancer that arises in another part of the body and then spreads to the bones. Hereditary and environmental factors likely contribute to the risk of bone cancer. Signs and symptoms of bone cancer may include pain, the presence of a mass or lump, and bone fractures. There are different types of bone cancer (osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, pleomorphic sarcoma, fibrosarcoma). Treatment for bone cancer may include surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or a stem cell transplant. The prognosis for bone cancer depends on the type of cancer and the extent of spread.
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What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are many different types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
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