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Bone cancer: symptoms and prognosis

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Most bone tumors are benign, that is, they are a mass of tissue that increases in size but does not destroy other structures; However, when it comes to a malignant bone tumor, it invades and damages healthy tissue, even putting life in danger. In this last tumor, it is determined that he suffers from bone cancer.

This pathology can have two origins, the most common being that it is due to the extension of a cancer in some other part of the body, which is known as metastatic cancer, and very rarely it initially develops in bone tissue, being considered as such. bone cancer or primary bone cancer.

As it is a malignant tumor, your immediate attention is necessary to make the treatment more likely to be successful. For this reason, if you are interested in learning more about bone cancer: symptoms and prognosis , at FastlyHealwe provide you with all the necessary information.

What is and types of bone cancer

Bone cancer develops when bone tissue cells undergo a lack of control in cell division, causing them to multiply rapidly and there are more than are needed, which goes on to form the malignant tumor. This disease can be classified into several types according to the type of bone tissue it affects, the most frequent being:

  • Osteosarcoma: occurs in the growth tissue found in the diaphysis of the bone, that is, at the ends of the middle or tubular part of the bone, mainly affecting the bones of the legs or arms. It has a higher incidence in people between 10 and 25 years of age.
  • Chondrosarcoma – Arises in cartilaginous tissue, especially that found in the pelvis, ribs, scapula, and the longer bones of the legs and arms. It usually occurs in adults between the ages of 40 to 75 years.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: This bone cancer develops mainly in the pelvis, ribs, thigh bone, and arm bone. Although it is the third most common type of bone cancer in adults, it is a pathology with more cases in people who are 10 to 20 years old.

The cause of this condition is still unknown, but it is related to the genetic alteration of these cells and some factors are determined that could increase the possibility of suffering from bone cancer, among them being exposed to high doses of radiotherapy, suffering from the tumor benign osteochondroma, having a family history of bone or other cancers, suffering from a bone disease such as Paget’s disease, or inherited disorders such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, retinoblastoma, multiple exostoses, or tuberous sclerosis .

Bone Cancer: Initial Symptoms and Signs

The pathology in the bone tissue can develop without showing any symptoms until it is very advanced, which could include specific alterations if it has spread to other areas, such as respiratory problems if it reaches the lungs. However, if there are symptoms of primary bone cancer , the most common are:

  • Pain in the area of ​​the malignant tumor, which is usually constant, repetitive and increases in certain situations, for example with physical exertion or when sleeping.
  • Localized inflammation, it is possible to notice it if the affected bone is close to the skin, perceiving the tumor as a protrusion or a lump.
  • Difficulty in the movement of the damaged joint, in the case of suffering from chondrosarcoma.
  • Bone fracture, increasing the risk with increasing bone wear.
  • Tingling and numbness of the affected area, this because of the pressure of the tumor on the nerves in the area.

Treatment for bone cancer

To correctly diagnose bone cancer, the specialist will rely on the physical examination and the most effective studies to obtain images of the body, either a CT scan or an MRI. Blood tests may also be ordered to detect a type of enzyme that signals an increase in bone tissue cells. Also, to determine if it is a malignant tumor, it is necessary to take a sample of the tissue of the tumor for later examination.

The treatment to be followed will depend on the grade, extension and type of bone cancer that is present, in addition to the general state of health and the age of the person. In general, the first option, if the specialist considers it pertinent, is to resort to surgical intervention to remove the malignant tumor , which is ideal to preserve damaged parts such as the extremities; however, if the tumor is very large or progressing rapidly, the affected limb may need to be amputated to prevent metastasis.

Likewise, the oncologist may include radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the complementary treatment , depending on the assessment he or she performs. Radiation therapy helps kill tumor cells that may remain in the bone after surgery or used before surgery to shrink the tumor and remove less tissue. While the use of specialized drugs in chemotherapy is helpful in controlling tumor growth and decreasing the risk of cancer spreading to other areas of the body; however, it is not recommended in cases of chondrosarcomas, due to its low effect on it.

Bone cancer: prognosis and life expectancy

Survival from bone cancer can vary from person to person, as there are certain factors that are related to the condition of the bone, including the type, size and extent of the primary bone cancer, the affected bone, the general health and age of the patient. patient, the treatment that is being followed and the result that is being obtained. The prognosis is higher if the tumor is not very large, it is located in the extremities, there is a favorable response to treatment, and the affected person is young.

In general, a life expectancy of at least 5 years is estimated for 70% of malignant bone tumors from diagnosis, in both adults and children. The prognosis for each type of localized bone cancer is similar over a 5-year interval, with 60% to 80% survival for osteosarcomas, 80% for chondrosarcomas, and 70% for Ewing’s sarcoma. However, if cancer cells spread to other areas of the body, that is, metastasis occurs from primary bone cancer, the 5-year survival rate can be reduced to 15% and 30%.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Bone cancer: symptoms and prognosis , we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, joints and muscles .

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