What is bone cancer? Causes, symptoms, treatment of bone cancer

What is bone cancer (1)

Bone cancer is a rare and rare cancer in adults . It starts in the cells that make up bones. Cancer begins when the cells begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancerous, and can spread to other parts of the body.

What is bone cancer?

Bone cancer is divided into primary and secondary bone cancer:

  • Primary bone cancer forms in bone cells
  • Secondary bone cancer starts elsewhere, metastases spread to the bone.

Both types of bone tumors can grow and compress healthy bone tissue, but benign tumors often do not spread or destroy bone tissue and are rarely a threat to life.

Types of bone cancer

Osteoporosis is divided into separate types based on the type of cell where the cancer begins and has a treatment. Knowing the exact type of bone cancer is essential to developing an optimal treatment plan.

There are 3 most common types of bone cancer:

  1. Osteosarcoma (bone disorder): most often occurs between the ages of 10 and 19. It is more common in the knees and upper arms.
  2. Chondrosarcoma : begins in cartilage, usually after 40 years
  3. Sarcoma Ewing : occurs most often in children and adolescents under 19. It is more common in boys than girls.
What is bone cancer (3)
What is bone cancer (3)

Causes of bone cancer

The cause of most bone cancers is unknown. Some factors that increase the likelihood of developing bone tumors include:

  1. Genetic syndromes : Some rare genetic syndromes passed through families increase the risk of bone cancer, including Li-Fraumeni syndrome and hereditary retinoblastoma.
  2. Osteoarthritis : Most often seen in older adults, Paget’s bone disease may increase the risk of developing later bone cancer.
  3. Radiation therapy for cancer: Exposure to large doses of radiation, such as those given during cancer radiation therapy, increases the risk of future bone cancer.

Symptoms of bone cancer

The symptoms of bone cancer will vary, depending on the size of the cancer and its location in the body.

Signs and symptoms of bone cancer include:

  • Bone pain
  • Weak bones, resulting in fractures
  • Tired
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Difficult to move.

Other symptoms

  • Inflammation causes swelling and redness. If the bone is near a joint, swelling can make it difficult to use the joint.
  • Shortness of breath, can develop if the cancer has spread to other organs, such as the lung.
  • Although less common, patients may also experience chills or night sweats.

See your doctor if you or your child has persistent, severe or worse bone pain, or if you are worried about any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Symptoms of bone cancer may be caused by other medical conditions. The earlier cancer is found, the easier it is to treat and the more likely it is to treat it successfully.

Treatments for bone cancer

If you’re diagnosed with bone cancer, your doctor will discuss the treatment options that are right for you. It is important that you think carefully about your options. You will want to weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the risks and possible side effects.

Three common treatments for bone cancer:


Is the main treatment for most types of bone cancer. Biopsy and surgical treatment are separate activities, but the doctor can combine the two together.

The main goal of surgery is to remove all cancers. If several cancer cells are left behind, they can grow and create a new tumor. For this not to happen, the doctor removes the tumor plus some normal tissue surrounding it. This is called broad excision . Removing some normal tissue helps ensure that all cancers are removed.


Bone cancers are not easily destroyed by radiation and require high doses. However, high doses can damage nearby healthy tissue as well as major structures in the area. This is why radiotherapy is not used as a primary treatment for most types of bone tumors.

Radiotherapy may be used to:

  • Pain relief in cancer progresses more.
  • Shrink the tumor, make it easier to surgically remove it.
  • Remove the cancer cells that remain after surgery.
  • If bone cancer returns after radiation therapy can help control symptoms like pain and swelling.

Combination therapy is radiation therapy combined with another type of therapy. This may be more effective in some cases.

Chemotherapy, or radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy, may also be used.


Is the use of medication to treat cancer. Drugs enter the bloodstream and circulate to reach and kill cancer cells throughout the body.

Chemotherapy has 5 goals for treating bone cancer:

  • Complete remission: Chemotherapy aims to cure patients. In some cases, chemotherapy alone can completely get rid of cancer.
  • Combined therapy : Chemotherapy can help other treatments, such as radiation or surgery, for better results.
  • Delay or prevent recurrence: Chemotherapy, when used to prevent the return of cancer, is most often used after a tumor has been surgically removed.
  • Slowing cancer progression: Chemotherapy can slow the progression of cancer.

Chemotherapy may also help relieve symptoms, often used for advanced cancer patients.

What is bone cancer (2)
What is bone cancer (2)

Recurrent bone cancer

For some people, bone cancer will return after treatment, called a relapse. The risk of bone cancer will return higher within the first five years after treatment. If the cancer recurs, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

In some cases of advanced bone cancer, treatment will focus on controlling your symptoms and improving your quality of life without trying to cure it. Palliative treatment can reduce pain and help control other symptoms.

Prospects for bone cancer

For most patients with bone metastases, they can still maintain a good quality of life. Depending on the location of bone metastases, certain activities may be more difficult or even unsafe. You may need to make some changes in your daily routine to reduce the risk of fractures or pain.

The 5-year survival rate for all bone cancers in adults and children is about 70% and there are some who can be completely cured.

Bone cancer is easier to cure in healthy people where the cancer has not spread.

Source Reference Bone cancer:

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