What is Bone Cancer?
Bone is one of the most important parts of a human body that support us to stand up, to move, to walk, to run, or to do any such kind of movement. Besides, it also gives strength to body. Without bone, it is very difficult to think about any functionality of a human body.
Therefore, before discussing about the bone cancer, first understand the bone and its functionality.
A human body has about 206 bones that support as well as protect other organs of the body. The strengthens of bone is derived from the materials of which it is made up of.
The main constituent cells of bone are:
These are calcium like substances together make bone stronger. Inside the bone, a spongy substance is found, which is known as bone marrow. Bone marrow has very important function i.e. to make blood cells.
Bone cancer is one of the rare forms of a cancer. As we see, bone is very hard, but from inside, it is filled with comparatively soft cells. When a tumour is developed in the bone, it is the form of a primary cancer, but when it grows and spread in other parts of the body, it is known as secondary cancer.
Types of Bone Cancer:
Following are the three major types of bone cancer:
- Osteosarcoma: It originates in bone’s new tissue. Among all, bone cancer, Osteosarcoma is the most common that normally occurs during adolescence.
- Chondrosarcoma: It originates in cartilage.
- Ewing’s sarcoma: It originates in immature nerve tissue in the bone marrow.
What are the Early Signs/Symptoms of Bone Cancer?
Following are the major symptoms of bone cancer:
- Intermittent pain in the bone; some time bone also gets swollen.
- Pain may be severing in the night and not controlled by pain relievers.
- Weaken bone fracture, which you cannot notice why and how fractured your bone.
- Weight loss
However, these symptoms are not only specific to bone cancer, but rather it may be observed by some other reasons as well. Hence, get checked up properly to identify the real problem. Do not come on any conclusion without proper medical check-up.
How is Bone Cancer Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of bone cancer involves multiple medical tests, which includes:
- X-rays and Bone Scans: These techniques diagnose the exact region of bone cancer. It also identifies the size of the bone cancer (tumour size).
- Bone Biopsy: Bone biopsy is a technique under which doctors take a small sample of bone cells and examine in the laboratory to find the presence of cancer cells. If the cancer cells identified, then further tests may be done by a pathologist to identify the exact type of cancer.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan: This is another type of CT scan, but the difference is – it works on magnetic property instead of x-rays. Further, it gives three-dimensional pictures of the body. It is very helpful in the identification of bone tumours.
Cause of Bone Cancer:
Causes of bone cancer are normally not fix and hence, it is not known; however, some of the bone diseases such as Paget, Ollier, etc. increase the risk of bone cancer.
Secondly, the people who have taken radiotherapy in the past, not necessarily, but remain at risk of bone cancer.
Thirdly, some people might remain at risk or develop bone cancer because of genetic reason.
Teenagers and young adults remain on great risk of developing osteosarcoma, because it often is connected with growth of spurts. Further, some diseases that common in families can increase the risk of bone cancer.
However, having the risk does not mean that you will develop bone cancer; so, don’t worry rather get it diagnosed properly.
What are the Treatments for Bone Cancer?
Bone cancer has three following major treatments; depending upon the type, location, growth rate, and severity of bone cancer, these methods of treatment are used either only one or in combinations; besides, health and age of patient is also considered:
- Radiation Therapy: Also known as RT, RTx, or XRT in short is one of the cancer therapies under which ionizing radiation is used for the treatment. The ionized radiation control or kill malignant cells.
- Chemotherapy: Also known as CTX or CTx in short another method of cancer treatment. Under this treatment, doctors use chemical substances, especially one or more anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapeutic agents), which are given as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen.
- Surgery: Depending upon the size, severity, location, and stage of bone cancer, surgery is done and affected part is removed or in more serious condition, entire limb is amputated.
Prevention of Bone Cancer:
Since the cause is not known properly, hence we cannot take any prevention as such. However, as the risk factor discussed above, if you have any such kind of risk factor, get it diagnosed through proper medical checkup of your body and obey the doctor’s prescription whether bone cancer is identified.
Sexuality and Bone Cancer:
Bone cancer and its treatment not only affect your personal health, but also affect your relationship and your feelings including about your sexual life. Such kind of changes is not only embarrassing, but also another health problem. You need to be strong and discuss with your doctor; if possible, then consult to the doctor who is specialized in therapy and expert in solving the sexual problems.