Bone Cancer

Bone Cancer

What is bone cancer?

The phrase "bone cancer" refers to a variety of malignancies that grow in the bones. Normal bone tissue may be harmed when cancer cells develop in a bone. The kind of bone cancer depends on the type of cell and tissue where it starts.

Primary bone malignancies are tumors that start in the bone itself. Many cancers that start in the organs or other body parts may spread to the bones and other body parts. Secondary or metastatic bone cancers are the term for these growths. Most cancers of the breast, prostate, and lungs metastasis (spread) to the bones.

What is the prevalence of bone cancer?

Bone cancer is an uncommon disease. In the United States, they account for fewer than 1% of all malignancies. They may affect anybody at any age, although they are more frequent in children, teens, and young adults than in older persons.

When it comes to bone cancer, where does it generally begin?


The sort of bone cancer you have will determine how long you live. Primary bone cancer is divided into four types:

Osteosarcoma is the most prevalent kind of bone cancer, and it grows in the cells that produce new bone structure. It may begin in any bone, although it most often starts at the ends of big bones like the arms and legs. Osteosarcoma is most typically diagnosed in adolescents and teens.

Ewing sarcoma: Named after the doctor who originally identified this form of bone cancer, Ewing sarcoma encompasses a wide range of tumors with comparable characteristics and origins in the same cell types. These tumors may develop in the bones and soft tissues around them. The most prevalent sites for Ewing sarcoma are the hips, ribs, and shoulder blades, as well as long bones like the legs.

Chondrosarcoma is a cancer that starts in cartilage tissue. Cartilage is a soft connective tissue that permits bones and joints to move freely. When the body adds calcium to cartilage, some of it becomes bone. This malignancy usually develops in the bones of the arm, leg, or pelvis. Chondrosarcoma is more common in adults than in children, unlike osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.

Chordoma is a rare tumor that starts in the spine's bones, generally near the base of the spine or the base of the skull. Chordomoma, like chondrosarcoma, is more common in elderly people. This kind of bone cancer is more common in males than in women.

Is it possible for a benign bone growth to turn cancerous?

Yes, but it's a rare occurrence. Even so, persons with benign bone tumors may need therapy to avoid complications including weak bones, joint difficulties, and the loss of good bone tissue.

What should I know about the stages of bone cancer?

The size and location of the tumor, as well as whether or not the disease has progressed to other locations, are used to define the stage. There are four phases to primary bone cancer:

Stage 1 : The cancer cells are still confined and the tumor is low-grade.

Stage 2 : The cancer cells are still localized, but the tumor has progressed to a more advanced stage.

Stage 3 : The tumor is advanced, and the cancer has spread to other parts of the bone.

Stage 4 : Cancer has progressed from the bone to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or liver.

What are the most prevalent signs and symptoms of bone cancer?

Other than a painless lump, some patients with bone cancer have no symptoms. Others may have a wide range of symptoms. Other disorders, such as arthritis or Lyme disease, might elicit these symptoms, which can cause a delay in diagnosis. The following are the most prevalent symptoms of bone cancer:

Discomfort (usually worse at night).
Swelling that hasn't been explained.
Moving around is difficult.
I'm feeling very exhausted (fatigue).

What are the causes of bone cancer?
Experts aren't sure what causes bone cancer, but they have discovered connections between it and other conditions. Being exposed to radiation or medicines while undergoing treatment for other malignancies is the most critical cause. Although this is not always the case, certain bone tumors are caused by diseases that are handed down through families (hereditary).


How can you know if you have bone cancer?

Your healthcare professional will often utilize X-rays to examine pictures of your bones in order to identify bone cancer. CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans offer more comprehensive pictures of the regions surrounding the bones and are normally acquired prior to any therapy.

Your healthcare practitioner will do a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, which involves removing a tiny bit of tissue from the bone and examining it under a microscope. A biopsy may tell you a lot about your cancer, including where it came from. This information aids clinicians in determining which treatment option is best for a certain malignancy.

What is the treatment for bone cancer?

Treatment for bone cancer is determined by the kind of cancer, whether it has spread, and if so, where it has gone. Bone cancer patients often engage with a team of healthcare specialists to treat the disease. Specialists who specialize in cancer (oncologists and radiation oncologists) as well as doctors who specialize in bones and joints make up this category (orthopedic surgeons).

Treatment for bone cancer usually involves a mix of methods. The kind of bone cancer, the size of the tumor, and whether it has spread to other regions of the body all influence the type and length of therapy. The following are the most regularly utilized treatments:

Surgery : Your surgeon will remove the tumor as well as some healthy tissue surrounding it during surgery. They may also use real or artificial bone transplants to mend or reconstruct damaged bones. To cure cancer, it is sometimes necessary to amputate a whole limb. An artificial limb (prosthetic) may be utilized in this situation. If all of the cancer cells were not eliminated the first time, a second operation may be required.

Radiation therapy : This treatment uses high doses of X-rays to shrink malignancies. Before surgery, doctors typically employ radiation to reduce the tumor so that less tissue has to be removed.


Chemotherapy is a sort of treatment that uses drugs to eliminate cancer cells all throughout the body. This treatment is frequently given to patients in the form of a tablet or an injection into a vein. Chemotherapy may be used to treat primary bone tumors as well as malignancies that have disseminated.

Is it possible to avoid bone cancer?

There is presently no recognized strategy to prevent bone cancer since researchers do not know what causes it. Furthermore, since radiation therapy (another recognized cause of bone cancer) is required for the treatment of other cancers, it cannot be avoided entirely.

What is the prognosis for patients who have been diagnosed with bone cancer?

Bone cancer is effectively treated in many situations. Cancer does not recur in these cases. In certain cases, many procedures are required to achieve this result.

Others with bone cancer may need to continue treatment, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, to prevent the disease from spreading. To manage cancer, these therapies may be continued forever.

It's important to check in with your doctor on a frequent basis for indicators that the cancer is returning (recurrent) or spreading. Your physician may begin treating a recurrence sooner if it is found early.

Is it common for bone cancer to be fatal?

Normally, no. While some individuals may succumb to bone cancer, many others will recover completely. Bone cancer has a five-year relative survival rate of 66.8%. This indicates that 66.8% of persons diagnosed with bone cancer are still living five years later. Remember that survival numbers are simply estimates based on individuals who have previously experienced bone cancer. They have no way of knowing how long you will live or what to anticipate in your specific circumstances. Speak with your healthcare professional to learn more about bone cancer survival rates.

How long do you think you'll be able to survive with bone cancer?

Many patients with bone cancer are treated successfully and go on to live happy lives. Early-stage bone cancer patients have a greater probability of complete recovery. When bone cancer is discovered later in life, the chances of survival drop.