Bone cancer is a kind of cancer that affects bone. This disease can affects children to adults. Bone cancer is divided into two, there are primary and secondary bone cancer. It is called primary bone cancer if the cancer occurrs and grows on the bone itself.
While the secondary bone cancer is a cancer that comes from other part of the body that spread to the bone. Types of the cancers that usually spread to the bone cancer are lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
The primary cancer cases are rarely happen compared to the secondary bone cancer. Until now, the exact cause of the bone cancer still haven’t discovered yet.
All bone on the body can be affected by this disease but most of the cases happens on the feet and arms bone.
Types of bone cancer:
There are three types of bone cancer that commonly happens. Here are the types of bone cancer:
- Osteosarcoma. This bone cancer grows inside of the new tissue on the growing bone. This kind of boen cancer usually affects the femur (thigh bone) and fibula. Osteosarcome can affect anybody, but most of the cases occurrs on teenagers and people that have reached adult age.
- Ewing’s sarcoma. This kind of bone cancer grows inside the immature nerve on the bone marrow. This kind of cancer usually affects femur, fibula and pelvis. Ewing’s sarcoma usually affect teenagers rather than adults.
- Chondrosarcoma. This kind of bone cancer grows in the cartilage. It usually affects femur, pelvis, ribs, scapula and the upper arm bone. Chondrosarcome usually affects people at the age between 30-60 years old.
The treatments for bone cancer depends on the severity of the cancer, the location of the cancer, or even the types of the cancer itselves. Nevertheless, the main treatment for the cancer is usually done by surgery that is combined with other treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Some types of the surgery that can be done to overcome the bone cancers are:
- Bone removal surgery. This surgery usually done if the cancer has not spread to the bone. Part of the bone or a joint that have been infected by cancer will be removed and replaced with artificial bone or joint. This removal surgery also can be applied if the cancer has only spread to the tissue around the bone.
- Amputation. Amputation usually done if the cancer did not successfully handled with the surgery or if the bone cancer has spread, such as to the nerve, blood vessels, and skin.
Chemotherapy is a method to treat cancer that is done by giving medications. On the bone cancer, the medications are infused to the blood vessels.
On the bone cancer cases, chemotherapy usually done before the surgery with the purpose to shrink the cancer so that amputation will not be necessary, and done after the surgery so the the cancer won’t reccurred.
The chemotherapy usually done by several cycles, where each cycles consists of several days. The number of the cycles that are needed by the patients are different, depending on the types and the severity of the cancer that they have. Each chemotherapy cycles usually separated by the delay for several weeks. The purpose of giving this delay is so the patient can have time to recover from the chemotherapy effects.
The method of radiotherapy is done by using radiation exposure to crush cancer cells. On the bone cancer cases, the radiotherapy can be used before or after the surgery. This method also can be doen to slow down the one cancer symptoms on the patient that cannot be treated by any kind of treatment.
Radiotherapy usually done by five sessions in a week, each sessions usually take 15 minutes.
Like chemotherapy, radiotherapy also have side effects. These side effects are tiredness, hair fall, pain in the joint, sickness, iritation and redness on the skin. These side effects usually gone after the radiotherapy treatment ends.
Bone cancers are the kind of diseases tha can attack or affect the bone. As mentioned before in the previous article, there are 3 types of the bone cancers: Osteosarcoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma, and Chondrosarcoma. The three of them have common symptoms that will be felt by the patients. Here are some of the symptoms of the bone cancer:
- Pain. People with bone cancer usually will feel the pain around the bone that is affected by bone cancer. This pain usually gradualy grows and get worse, especially when the bone is moved or when the night come.
- Swelling. Swelling will occur on the area that have been affected by cancer. Even so, if the swelling occurs on a joint, the joint will be hard to move.
- Weakening of the bones. Bone cancer can cause the bone to become weak or fragile. In fact if it gets worse, a common fall or a small injury can make the bone to break.
- Tiredness. Body of the patients will become tired without reason.
- Decreased body weight. The patient’s body weight will gradually decreasing even if they are not on a diet.
- Sweating, especially on the night.
On the adults, these symptoms sometimes can be misconstrued as rheumatoid arthritis. On children and teenagers, sometimes minsconstrued as the side effects of the bone growth. It is recommended to see a doctor if you or your children continously feel the pain on the bone for more than three days.
Stages of development of the bone cancer
There are four stages that identify the severity of a bone cancer disease
- Stage 1. On this stage, the cancer have only affects a part of the bone and haven’t spread to other parts.
- Stage 2. It is the same like stage 1, but on this stage, the cancer aggressiveness starting to be seen.
- Stage 3. On this stage, the cancer have spread to more than an area on the same bone.
- Stage 4. On this stage, the cancer have gnawed the bones to the other part of the body, like lungs, liver, or brain.
To determine the severity of the bone cancer can be done by diagnosis. It is very helpful for the doctor to give the proper treatment.
To find out wether the patient have a bone cancer or not, beside asking the symptoms that are felt by the patients, doctor also need to runs some test. These tests are:
- Blood test. This test can find out the cancer presence on the bone through the changes that happens on the blood. For example, the increasing level of the alkaline phosphatase enzyme. Other uses of the blood test is to make sure the patient not having any other conditions, like arthritis that also can cause the pain the bone cancer.
- Biopsy. Besides detecting the presence of the bone cancer, this test also can determine the severity of the disease if there is a cancer. Biopsy is done by taking a little sample from the bone to be examined in laboratorium. This test is considered as the most accurate way to diagnose bone cancer.
- X-ray test. Through this test, it can be found out wether there is a damage on the patient’s bone that is caused by cancer or other conditions. Besides bone damage, the abnormal growth of the bone that can be caused by cancer also can be detected through the X-ray scan.
- Bone Scanning. This test is done by injecting some of radioactive material into the veins. These materials will later be absorbed by the bone. Usually the bone with problems or abnormal will more quickly absorb the material than the normal bone. The informations about the bone that are obtained by the bone scanning usually more detailed than the informations from the X-ray test.
- MRI Scan. Through this method, the severity of the cancer spreading in the bone can be known. With the radio waves and electromagnetic fields, MRI scan can bring out the more detailed bone image.
- CT Scan. This examination is done to find out wether the bone cancer has spread, such as to the lungs. The scanning is using the series of the X-ray with the help of the computer to bring out the detailed image of the body on three dimensional form.
Bone cancer is a disease that affects bone on the human body. It can comes from the bone itself or as the result of spreading from other cancer.
The bone cancer disease can be prevented like any other disease. There are several ways for early prevention of the bone cancer. here are the following ways to prevent bone cancer:
- Strengthening the bone by harvesting vitamin D through the sunbathe before 10 o’clock in the morning.
- Developing a healthy lifestyle with consuming foods that rich with natural calcium at the sufficient quantities.
- Regular exercise can strengthen the bone because sport activities can make the bone composition more solid. Jogging and gymnastics are the exercise that is very recommended for the bone.
- Avoid foods that have carcinogenic substances or a substance that can cause cancer.
- Not consuming or at least limit the consumption of alcohol.
Chances of Recovering from bone cancer
Bone cancer that is not yet spread to other organ or still localized, is more easy to handle than bone cancer that have spread or metastasize. This is the factor that will affect the chance of the patient to recover.
According to a study, a person that have been diagnosed with localized osteosarcoma is predicted to have 60 %more chance of survival at least for five years ahead, those who have been diagnosed with metastasize osteosarcoma will only have 10% chance of survival.
For the Ewing’s Sarcoma cases, the patient with localized cancer is predicted to have 70% chance of survival for at least 5 years ahead than those who have metastasize condition whose only have 30% chance of survival. Like localized osteosarcoma, most of the localized Ewing’s sarcoma also successfully recover from the disease.
Besides the level of spreading, the patients with the severity of the tissue that have been affected by cancer can also have chance to recover. According to a research, the chance of survival ratio between the low stage and high stage of chondrosarcoma for 5 years ahead are 80 to 30 percents.
Throughout the life, bone will keep developing and improving. So there are still chance to prevent yourself from getting affected by the bone cancer.