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Most frequently asked questions on bone cancer

21 Apr, 2022

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team
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Hearing the news of having cancer can be frightening; however, with advancements in medical technology, treatment of cancer is possible and has a good success rate. However, people still have many apprehensions when it comes to cancer due to a lack of knowledge. Let's discuss some of the most frequently asked questions that will help you learn about bone cancer.

What is bone cancer, and how is primary bone cancer different from secondary bone cancer?

Bone cancer occurs when the cells in the bone start to grow out of control. It may also spread beyond the bone. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary.

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  • Primary bone cancer: It is when cancer begins in the bone tissue and is very rare.
  • Secondary or metastatic bone cancer: It is when cancer starts somewhere else and spreads to the bone.

What are the types of bone cancer?

Common types of bone cancers are listed below:

  • Osteosarcoma: This type of cancer starts in the cells which grow in bone tissue. It affects the pelvis, legs, and arms and may develop in any bone.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: This type of bone cancer affects soft tissue or bone cells. It is often associated with a large lump.
  • Chondrosarcoma: This happens when cancer begins in the cells that grow cartilage.

What are the common symptoms of bone cancer?

  • Tenderness or stiffness in the bone
  • Unexplained fractures of bones
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Loss of feeling in the affected limb
  • Inflammation over the affected bone
  • Problems with moving like an unexplained limp
  • Weakness

Which bones can be affected by bone cancer?

Cancer can affect any bone. However, some bones are more prone to develop bone cancer. For example, osteosarcoma usually affects bone around the knee joint, and Ewing's sarcoma is commonly found in the trunk's upper leg, pelvis, and other bones. The pelvis is also the most common location for chondrosarcoma.

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Can I also get bone cancer?

Anyone can have bone cancer at any time of their life. However, the risk of developing bone cancer is more significant in people who fall among any of the below-mentioned categories:

  • History of radiation therapy: Patients who have undergone radiation therapy to treat other cancer are at greater risk of developing primary bone cancer. The risk is higher in people who have had high doses of radiation therapy at a young age.
  • Other bone conditions: People suffering from dysplasia, Paget’s disease of the bone, are at greater risk of developing primary bone cancer. Few studies also reveal that patients who have had soft tissue sarcoma are at higher risk of developing primary bone cancer.
  • Genetic factors: People with a strong family history of bone cancer are more likely to develop bone cancer.

How is bone cancer diagnosed?

Once you experience symptoms and visit a doctor, your doctor will examine you to identify the problem and recommend various tests to confirm the diagnosis of bone cancer such as x-ray, bone scans, bone biopsies, CT scans, etc.

How is bone cancer treated?

We have the best cancer hospitals in India that provides advanced treatment to patients ensuring minimum discomfort. The doctors plan a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery depending on the stage and the patient’s response to the treatment.

  • Surgery: Surgery for bone cancer is decided basis on the size and the location of the tumor. People with cancer in the limbs may have options such as:
  • limb-sparing surgery: The aim of this surgery is to remove cancer and keep the limb intact. During this surgery, a part of the bone is removed and replaced with a bone graft or metal implant.
  • Amputation: In some cases, it is not possible to remove complete cancer without cutting the arm or leg, and hence the limb is removed. This is known as amputation. However, after healing, an artificial limb may be fitted to the patient depending upon the patient’s preference.
  • Vertebroplasty: In secondary bone cancer cases, bone cement is injected into vertebrae (backbones) that have broken or cracked due to a tumor. The cement helps in hardening and stabilizing the fractures and supports the spine.
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses different types of radiation or high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy helps prevent cancer cells from growing using certain medicines. Many times, a combination of various drugs is used to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Immunotherapy: In this treatment, the patient’s own immune system is used to fight against the disease. Certain substances that boost a person's immunity are made in the lab and then used to enhance the patient's immunity to fight cancer.
  • Targeted therapy: During this treatment, certain drugs, and other substances are used which identify and attack the cancer cells.

Can bone cancer be prevented?

Currently, there is no way to prevent bone cancer. However, you can certainly lower the risk by making some lifestyle modifications.

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  • Eat food rich in calcium like cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.
  • Ensure to get sufficient vitamin D.
  • Involve in physical activities such as exercise, yoga, and weight training to keep your body and bones healthy.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Quit smoking.

How can we help in the treatment?

If you have been diagnosed with bone cancer, we act as your guide throughout your treatment journey and will be present physically with you even before your treatment is started. We will provide you with the following:

  • Expert physicians and surgeon’s opinions
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance in hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Arrangement for medical travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

We are committed to providing the best healthcare services to our patients. We have a team of trained and highly dedicated health experts who will be there by your side right from the beginning of your journey.

Conclusion

Bone cancer is a rare type of cancer, and treatment for it is available. Our team has the best cancer doctors in India, who are highly experienced and internationally trained. Whether you want to know about the most advanced treatment for bone cancer or get the treatment done- we are present with you always!

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