What is bone cancer?
Bone cancer is any type of tumor that grows in bones. Bone cancers can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Benign tumors may cause pain or damage to surrounding tissues. Malignant tumors spread to nearby lymph nodes and organs, causing them to become damaged.
Cancer cells begin to divide uncontrollably and destroy normal tissue. While some types of bone cancer are slow-growing and don’t need treatment right away, others can be aggressive and require prompt medical attention.
There are several treatment options available for bone cancer which involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.
The cost of chemotherapy is much cheaper than other treatment options. Depending upon the stage of cancer, the doctor will suggest the type of treatment which is suitable for a specific person.
What are the types of bone cancer?
There are many different types of bone cancer, including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, fibrous dysplasia, Paget’s disease, metastatic lesions, and myeloma. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. It affects children and young adults and often occurs in the long bones, especially in the arms and legs.
Chondrosarcoma is more commonly seen in older people than osteosarcoma. Sarcomas are cancers that develop from the connective tissue, or mesenchyme, that makes up various parts of our body. These cancers can occur anywhere in the body, but they tend to affect soft tissue, cartilage, muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, and other soft connective tissues.
Fibrous dysplasia is a nonmalignant disorder caused by mutations in genes involved in bone formation. It causes abnormal bone growth in the jawbones, skull, ribs, and spine. Paget’s disease is a rare condition that results in irregular calcification of the bones.
This disease causes changes to both the hard and soft tissues of the affected area. Metastatic lesions are tumors that have traveled from somewhere else in the body to a specific site.
Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, which make antibodies, white blood cells that fight infection. In most cases, myeloma starts in the bone marrow, where these special immune cells are produced.
Other forms of bone cancer include leukemia, lymphomas, and multiple myeloma. Leukemia is a cancer of immature blood cells. Lymphomas are cancers that start in the lymph system, especially in the lymph nodes.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that begins in cells called plasma cells. Because these cells are responsible for making antibodies, they are sometimes referred to as B cells.
What are the treatment options?
Treatment for bone cancer varies depending on its location and stage. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapies are all used to treat patients. Surgical removal of the affected bone is often necessary. Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells and stop their rapid growth.
Radiation therapy uses high doses of X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Targeted therapies work specifically at blocking the pathways that allow cancer cells to grow and multiply. Patients who have early-stage bone cancers may not need surgery or radiotherapy.
They may only receive chemotherapy or targeted therapy. However, if the cancer has spread to other places in the body, the chances of survival decrease dramatically.
Bone marrow transplants have been shown to cure many diseases, including cancer. A bone marrow transplant involves replacing diseased cells with those of healthy donors.
When stem cells migrate out of the donor’s bone marrow into the recipient’s blood stream, they travel to damaged areas throughout the body. Once there, they replace the diseased cells with healthy ones.
Stem cell therapy is based on the idea that if we could harness the power of stem cells, then we could potentially treat any disease or injury. In addition to curing cancer, the use of stem cells may also help to regenerate lost limbs, organs, and even whole bodies.
Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that contains blood-forming stem cells. If these cells become defective, they cannot produce enough red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or plasma. This causes anemia, leukemia, and immune system failure.
Finding a bone marrow donor requires a family history of certain cancers. If someone in the family is diagnosed with a certain type of cancer, their DNA is checked for compatibility with that person’s cancer cells.
There are two primary types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are already present in the human body, while embryonic stem cells must be extracted from the embryo. Adult stem cells are easier to extract and work much faster than embryonic stem cells.
The bone marrow consists of a variety of cells called hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), stromal cells, endothelial cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and adipocytes. HSCs are the only cells that can give rise to both blood and bone.
What are the major risk factors?
The risk of developing bone cancer increases with age. Men are twice as likely as women to get bone cancer.
Exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic and lead, may increase the risk of getting bone cancer. People who use tobacco products or are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at a higher risk of developing bone cancer.
How can you prevent bone cancer?
People diagnosed with bone cancer should always talk to their doctor about possible ways to prevent future cancer. There are no known cures for bone cancer. Preventing further exposure to environmental toxins is the best way to protect yourself.
If you do decide to take steps to reduce your exposure to toxic substances, consider switching to safer cleaning supplies, air fresheners, pesticides, solvents, paints, and other household items. You could also try using natural alternatives to traditional cleaners and personal care products.