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On June 6, 2017
Last modified:June 6, 2017


Bone cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the bone that finishes normal bone tissue. Not all bone tumors are malignant. Normally start (noncancerous) bone tumors are most common than malignant ones. Both malignant and benign bone tumors may grow and compress healthy bone tissue, but benign tumors do not spread, do not finish bone tissue, and are back a threat to life.

Bone Cancer

Malignant tumors that begin in bone tissue are called primary bone cancer. Cancer that metastasizes (spreads) to the bones from other areas of the body, such as the breast, lung, or prostate, is called metastatic cancer and is named for the organ or tissue in which it began. Basically, bone cancer is far low common than cancer that spreads to the bones.

Bone Cancer Causes

In fact, bone cancer does not have a clearly defined cause researchers have identified several factors that update the likelihood of developing these tumors. Osteosarcoma occurs many frequently in people who have had high-dose external radiation therapy or treatment with certain anticancer drugs; children seem to be particularly susceptible.

Bone Cancer Causes - Symptoms - Risk Factors & Treatment Methods

A little number of bone cancers are due to heredity. For example, children who have had hereditary retinoblastoma (an uncommon cancer of the eye) are at a higher risk of developing osteosarcoma, particularly if they are treated with radiation. Additionally, people who have hereditary defects of bones and people with metal implants, which doctors sometimes use to repair fractures, are more likely to develop osteosarcoma. Ewing sarcoma is not strongly associated with some heredity cancer syndromes, congenital childhood diseases, or previous radiation exposure.

Bone Cancer Symptoms

Pain is the more common symptom of bone cancer, but not all bone cancers cause pain. Persistent or unusual pain or swelling in or near a bone can be caused by cancer or by other conditions. It is needed to see a doctor to determine the cause.

Bone Cancer Diagnosed

To help diagnose bone cancer, the doctor asks about the patient’s personal and family medical history. The doctor also performs a physical examination and may order laboratory and other diagnostic tests. These tests may include the following (1):

Bone Cancer Causes - Symptoms - Risk Factors & Treatment Methods

X-rays, which can show the location, size, and shape of a bone tumor. If x-rays suggest that an abnormal area may be cancer, the doctor is likely to recommend special imaging tests. Even if x-rays suggest that an abnormal area is benign, the doctor may want to do further tests, especially if the patient is experiencing unusual or persistent pain.

A bone scan, which is a test in which a small amount of radioactive material is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream; it then collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.

A computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, which is a seriously of detailed pictures of areas inner the body, taken from different and other angles, that are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure, which uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to make detailed pictures of areas inner the body without using x-rays.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan, in which a little amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of inside locations the body where the glucose is used. Because cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body.

An angiogram, which is an x-ray of blood vessels.

Biopsy (removal of a tissue example from the bone tumor) to determine whether cancer is present. The surgeon may perform a needle biopsy or an incisional biopsy. During a needle biopsy, the surgeon makes a little hole in the bone and removes a sample of tissue from the tumor with a needle-like instrument. In an incisional biopsy, the surgeon cuts into the tumor and removes a sample of tissue. Biopsies are best done by an orthopedic oncologist (a doctor experienced in the treatment of bone cancer). A pathologist (a doctor who identifies the disease by studying cells and tissues under a microscope) examines the tissue to determine whether it is cancerous.

Bone Cancer Causes - Symptoms - Risk Factors & Treatment Methods

Blood tests to determine the level of an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase. A number of amount of this enzyme is present in the blood when the cells that form bone tissue are very active—when children are growing when a broken bone is mending, or when a disease or tumor causes the production of abnormal bone tissue. Because high levels of alkaline phosphatase are normal in growing children and adolescents, this test is not a completely reliable indicator of bone cancer.

Bone Cancer Treatment

Treatment options depend on the type, size, location, and steps of cancer, as well as the person’s age and general health. Treatment options for bone cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and cryosurgery.

Surgerusuale usually the treatment for bone cancer. The surgeon removes the entire tumor with negative margins (no cancer cells are found at the edge or border of the tissue removed during surgery). The surgeon may also use special surgical techniques to minimize the amount of healthy tissue finish with the tumor.

Bone Cancer Causes - Symptoms - Risk Factors & Treatment Methods

Dramatic improvements in surgical techniques and preoperative tumor treatment have made it possible for most patients with bone cancer in an arm or leg to avoid radical surgical procedures (removal of the entire limb). However, most patients who undergo limb-sparing surgery need reconstructive surgery to maximum limb function.

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Patients who have bone cancer normally receive a combination of anticancer drugs. However, chemotherapy is not currently used to treat chondrosarcoma.

Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. This treatment may be used in combination with surgery. It is often used to treat chondrosarcoma, which cannot be treated with chemotherapy, as well as ESFTs. It may also be used for patients who reject surgery.

Cryosurgery is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill cancer cells. This technique can sometimes be used instead of conventional surgery to destroy the tumor.