What is Bone Cancer Treatment?

October 16, 2021 Cancer Hub 33 Views

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What is the meaning of Bone Cancer?

A condition in which an abnormal mass of tissue or a tumor forms in a bone is known as bone cancer. Bone cancer can occur in any bone of the body but is most commonly seen in the long bones of the arms and the legs. Bone cancer is a rare condition and constitutes less than 1% of all cancers. Bone tumors that are benign (non-cancerous) in nature are more common than malignant (cancerous) bone tumors. Bone cancer treatment is commonly done by surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also be used for the treatment of bone cancer.

In today’s article, we will be discussing in detail about bone cancer and bone cancer treatment.

  • What is Bone Cancer?
  • What are the types of Bone Cancer?
  • What are the causes of Bone Cancer?
  • What are the risk factors for Bone Cancer?
  • What are the symptoms of Bone Cancer?
  • How to diagnose Bone Cancer?
  • What are the various treatments for Bone Cancer?
  • What are the complications of Bone Cancer Treatments?
  • How to prevent Bone Cancer?
  • What is the cost of Bone Cancer Treatment in India?

What is Bone Cancer?

The different types of cancers that develop in the bones are referred to as bone cancers.

Bone cancer occurs when an abnormal mass of tissue forms in the bone and affects the normal bone tissue.

Bone cancer can develop at any age but is commonly seen in children, teenagers, and young adults.

Cancers that form in the bone first are known as primary bone cancers. Tumors that begin in the organs and other parts of the body and then spread to the bones are known as secondary or metastatic bone tumors.

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What are the types of Bone Cancer?

The different types of bone cancers include:

  • Osteosarcoma:
  • This is the most common type of bone cancer.
  • It affects the hard tissue that forms the outer layer of the bones.
  • Osteosarcoma can develop in any bone but is usually formed in large bones such as the arms and the legs.
  • Osteosarcoma is more commonly seen in children and teenagers.

Ewing sarcoma:

  • These tumors can form in the bone and its surrounding soft tissue.
  • Ewing sarcoma includes several different tumors that begin in the same type of cells and have similar qualities.
  • Ewing sarcoma is commonly seen in the ribs, hips, long bones of the legs, and shoulder blades.

Chondrosarcoma:

  • Chondrosarcoma begins in the cartilage, which is a soft connective tissue that allows movement between the joints and the bones.
  • This type of cancer is usually seen in the leg, arms, or pelvic bones.
  • This type of cancer is more commonly seen in adults.

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What are the causes of Bone Cancer?

The exact cause of bone cancer is unknown. However, some of the possible complications of bone cancer include:

  • Radiation exposure
  • Chemotherapy for the treatment of other cancers
  • Family history

What are the risk factors for Bone Cancer?

Some factors that increase the risk of developing bone cancer include:

  • Family history
  • Radiation therapy
  • Paget’s disease (a condition in which the bones break down and then grow back abnormally)
  • History of tumors in cartilage (connective tissue in the bone)

What are the symptoms of Bone Cancer?

The various symptoms of bone cancer are:

  • Pain in the bone
  • Tenderness and swelling in the affected area
  • Bone weakness, causing a fracture
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

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How to diagnose Bone Cancer?

  • Physical examination: The doctor first examines the patient physically. The symptoms of the patient are noted, along with the patient’s medical and family history.
  • Blood tests: A blood test helps in checking for any underlying infections that may be present.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests like x-rays, MRI scan, CT scan, PET scan helps in creating images of the internal organs of the body and to locate the tumor in the bone.
  • Bone scan: A bone scan helps in checking the condition of the bones.
  • Biopsy: A small portion of the tissue growth is excised and sent to the laboratory to check for the presence of cancer cells and identify their type.

What are the various treatments for Bone Cancer?

The treatment for bone cancer depends on the stage of cancer, the location and size of the tumor, the age of the patient, and the overall health of the patient.

The various modes of treatment for bone cancer include:

Surgery:

  • The bone tumor and some healthy tissue around it are removed by surgery.
  • The affected bones can be rebuilt or repaired with real bone grafts (bone excised from another part of the body) or artificial bone grafts (artificial bone made of hard plastic or metal).
  • Sometimes, an entire limb removal is required to treat cancer. In such a case, an artificial prosthetic limb may be given to the patient.
  • A repeat surgery may be required if all the cancer cells are not removed in the first surgery.

Radiation therapy:

  • High-powered energy beams, like x-rays, are used to kill cancer cells in radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy is often performed before surgery to shrink the tumor so that it can easily be removed later by surgery.
  • Radiation therapy can also be used post-surgery to kill any cancer cells that may still be remaining after surgery.
  • In advanced cases of bone cancer, radiation therapy can help in controlling symptoms associated with bone cancer like pain.

Chemotherapy:

  • Chemotherapy includes the use of medications that may be given orally, or through a vein (intravenously) to kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy is not very effective in cases of chondrosarcoma but may play an important role in the treatment of Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma.

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What are the complications of Bone Cancer Treatments?

The various complications associated with bone cancer treatments include:

  • Infection
  • Injury to the surrounding tissues
  • Recurrence of cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Risk of fracture of remaining bone
  • Loss of sensation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of hair
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice any of the above complications after bone cancer treatment, contact your doctor immediately.

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How to prevent Bone Cancer?

There are no known methods to prevent bone cancer. However, one may follow the following tips to decrease the risk of developing bone cancer:

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation
  • Regular check-ups from your doctor if there is a family history of cancers
  • Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
  • Regular exercising
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Consult your doctor in case any symptoms associated with bone cancer are seen, for an early diagnosis and treatment of bone cancer

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What is the cost of Bone Cancer Treatment in India?

The total cost of bone cancer treatment in India can range from around INR 2,50,000 to INR 7,50,000. However, the cost of the procedure may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for bone cancer treatment. The cost varies across different hospitals. 

If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of bone cancer treatment, there will be a cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living, and cost of local travel. Apart from this, after the procedure, the patient is kept in hospital for 5 days and in the hotel for 15 days for recovery. So, the total cost of bone cancer treatment in India comes to be around INR 4,00,000 to INR 10,00,000. 

We hope that all your questions regarding bone cancer treatment have been answered through this article.

If you want to get more information and the treatment of bone cancer, then immediately contact a Surgical Oncologist.

We only aim to give you information through the article and do not recommend medication or treatment in any way. Only a doctor can give you the best advice and correct treatment plan. 


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