Dangers of bone cancer

Bone cancer (Sarcoma) is rare in adults (nearly 2 per cent of all cancers), but account for 20 per cent of all solid cancers in children.

Published: 11th July 2019 06:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2019 06:37 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bone cancer (Sarcoma) is rare in adults (nearly 2 per cent of all cancers), but account for 20 per cent of all solid cancers in children. Bone cancers are aggressive in nature, often destroying the limb and spreading to other organs. 

Cause of bone cancer

The cause is not well understood. Several factors like socio-economic environment, poor dietary habits, genetic factors, exposure to radiation have been proposed but not conclusive. What is known by the available census is that it commonly affects adolescents and young adults. Limbs are commonly involved, whereas spine, pelvis and other flat bones in the body have lesser predilection.
Medical help is required when an individual has the following symptoms:

Bone pain, which worsens at night or during rest 
Swelling (lump), which is more than the ‘size of a lemon’ and growing rapidly.
Fracture due to trivial fall or injury
Any paralysis, weakness, decrease appetite or loss of weight (advanced cases)
Types of bone cancer
Osteosarcoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma and Chondrosarcoma are different types with specific behaviour and progress. It is important to identify the types to provide appropriate treatment at the earliest.

Treatment
Individuals with bone cancers have several treatment choices depending on the type of cancer/sarcoma and extent of the disease. Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma require combination of chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiotherapy as per protocol. Secondary sarcomas often require combination treatment.
The author is musculoskeletal oncologist, cancer care, oncology, 
HAL Airport Road, Bengaluru

Tests to
diagnose Bone Cancer
X ray 
(Plain Radiograph)
Relevant
blood tests
MRI and or CT scan
Biopsy (Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling)
Staging by Whole body Scan (Bone scan or PET CT)
Types of limb
saving surgeries:
Tumour 
Megaprosthesis
Custom Made Prosthesis 
Composite 
Reconstruction
Biological
Reconstruction (Use of Recycled Tumour Graft or Bone Bank
 Allograft)
Paediatric (Growing Tumour prosthesis)
Pelvic, Sacrum and Spinal Tumour Surgeries
 

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