What is Bone Cancer?
While bone cancer can affect any bone in the body, it is most commonly seen in the pelvis, the long bones of the arms and legs, and other long bones in the body. Bone cancer is extremely rare, accounting for less than 1% of all cancers. It affects men and women equally.
Bone tumours that are not malignant outnumber those that are malignant by a wide margin.
A tumour that begins in another region of the body and subsequently spreads to one or more bones is not considered bone cancer (metastasize). The titles of these tumours are instead given based on their primary site of origin, such as breast cancer that has spread to the bone.
Bone malignancies are classified based on the type of cell that forms the tumour in the first place.
- Chondrosarcoma - usually begins in the pelvis, legs, or arms of patients
- Ewing sarcoma - most commonly found in the pelvis, legs, and arms
- Osteosarcoma - The most frequent kind of bone cancer; affects the legs or arms
Causes of Bone Cancer
Although the cause of bone cancer is unknown, experts have discovered that the disease and other risk factors have some qualities in common.
- The most significant risk factor is exposure to radiation or chemotherapy while being treated for another type of cancer.
- Genetic abnormalities can result in bone tumours or hereditary illnesses, although this isn't always true.
- According to research, Paget's bone disease, which primarily affects the elderly, has been linked to a higher risk of bone cancer later in life.
Bone Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Some of the signs and symptoms of bone cancer, as well as its indicators, are as follows:
- Aches and pains in the joints and muscles
- An increase in swelling and discomfort in the region surrounding the infection
- A bone deterioration process that leads to fracture
- Unexpected weight loss
Possible Treatment For Bone Cancer
A variety of factors, including the kind of bone cancer, the size of the tumour, and whether or not cancer has spread to other parts of the body, determine the type and duration of these therapies. The following are the treatments most frequently used:
- In the course of the surgery, your surgeon will remove the tumour and some healthy tissue from the surrounding area.
- It is also possible to repair or replace damaged bones using natural or synthetic bone grafts.
- To treat cancer, it may be necessary to amputate an entire limb on occasion and use a prosthetic or artificial limb in its place.
- A second procedure may be required if the first procedure does not entirely eradicate all cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that shrinks tumours by exposing them to extremely high doses of X-rays. Before surgery, radiation therapy is usually used to reduce the tumour, resulting in less tissue being removed from the body overall.
- In cancer treatment, chemotherapy refers to delivering medications to the body to eradicate cancer cells from the body. Normally, this medication is taken orally or injected intravenously through a vein. In the case of bone tumours that are both primary and spread, chemotherapy is an option for treatment.
Risk Factors of Bone Cancer
- Chondrosarcomas most commonly affect older people, though they can also affect young people.
- Chondrosarcoma is more common in people with certain benign (non-cancerous) bone tumours.
- Chordomas aren't known to have a cause. However, certain chordomas run in families (known as "familial chordoma"). It is frequently linked to a TBXT gene mutation passed down from a parent.
- Tuberculosis, or TSC, is a disease that is passed down through families. It is caused by a mutation in the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, leading to the disease.
Various Stages of Bone Cancer
Cancer's location and size decide whether or not cancer has formed tumours or tissues in the body. For example, primary bone cancer can be split into four phases:
Stage 1: The cancerous cells are still restricted to a localized region, and the tumour is considered to be of low severity.
Stage 2: Although the cancerous cells are still confined within the tumour, the malignancy has progressed to a high grade and is incurable.
Stage 3: Cancer has spread to nearby bones, and the tumour has grown significantly.
Stage 4: The tumour has spread from the bones to the chest, abdomen, and other parts of the body.
- To rule out the chance of bone cancer, your healthcare expert will often begin by reviewing an X-ray image of your bones.
- MRI and CT scans can show more detailed images of the area around the bones than standard radiography.
- A small piece of bone tissue is taken during a biopsy and looked at under a microscope to ensure the diagnosis is correct.
- A biopsy reveals a great deal about cancer, including where it originated. If doctors know this, they can figure out the best way to treat a certain type of cancer.
- Primary bone cancers are uncommon (less than 1% of all tumours). Adults with cancers that have spread to the bones (bone metastasis) are significantly more common than those with original bone tumours.
- Osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and Ewing tumours are the most common primary bone malignancies (Ewing sarcomas). It does, however, vary with age.
- Chondrosarcoma is most typically found in adults. Osteosarcomas and Ewing tumours followed. Other types of bone cancer are uncommon.
- Osteosarcoma and Ewing tumours in children and teenagers are significantly more common than chondrosarcoma.
Possible Complications of Bone Cancer
- The bone marrow is unique because it contains hematopoietic and bone-remodelling cells (e.g., osteoblasts and osteoclasts).
- Recent research has discovered that bone metastatic cancer cells called osteoblasts, or the hematopoietic stem cell niche, call home.
- These DTCs actively regulate bone remodelling (e.g., osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis) to enhance DTC recruitment and survival inside the marrow. DTCs go dormant and then sprout again.
- Bisphosphonates (BPs) and radiation therapy (EBRT) have been used to treat skeletal events.
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