Bone cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue. Not all bone tumors are malignant. In fact, benign (noncancerous) bone tumors are more 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 destroy bone tissue, and are rarely a threat to life.
Malignant tumors that begin in bone tissue are called primary bone cancer. Cancer that metastasizes (spreads) to the bones from other parts of the body, such as the breast, lung, or prostate, is called metastatic cancer.
The most common symptom of bone cancer is pain, which is caused either by the spread of the tumor or by the breaking of bone that is weakened by a tumor. Stiffness or tenderness in the bone may also occur. Sometimes there are other symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, swelling, and stumbling.
There are Three Types of Bone Cancer :
• Osteosarcoma : Osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary bone cancer . This cancer affects primarily children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 25. Osteosarcoma often starts in the ends of bones, where new tissue forms as children grow. It arises most often in the knee.
• Chondrosarcoma : Chondrosarcomas, one of the most common types of bone cancer in adults over age 50, form in cartilage — usually around the pelvis, knee, shoulders, or upper part of the thighs.
• Ewing’s Sarcoma : Ewing’s sarcoma occurs most often in the middle part of bones, arising most often in the hip, ribs, upper arm, and thighbones. Like osteosarcoma, this cancer affects primarily children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 25.
Surgery : Surgery is used to remove the bone cancer itself. When operating to remove bone tumors, surgeons remove some of the surrounding bone and muscle to be sure that they are removing as much cancerous tissue as possible. If the operation is on an arm or leg, the surgeon will try , as much as possible, to preserve the limb and maintain its fnctionality. Sometimes the bone that is removed will be replaced with bone from another part of the body, bone from the tissue bank or with an artificial replacement.
Radiotherapy : Approximately 40% of patients of all types of cancer undergo some kind of radiotherapy. It involves the use of beams of high-energy X-rays or particles (radiation) to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA inside the tumor cells, destroying their ability to reproduce. Radiotherapy can be used for different reasons:
Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Patients who have bone cancer usually receive a combination of anticancer drugs. However, chemotherapy is not currently used to treat chondrosarcoma.
Cryosurgery : 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.
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