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Bone Cancer TreatmentBone cancers are rare forms of cancer that can affect any bone in the body. Two types of bone cancer are multiple myeloma and bone sarcomas. Bone cancers can also happen when tumors that start in other organs, such as breasts, lung, and prostate, metastasize (spread) to the bone. Multiple myeloma is the most common type of bone cancer. Basic information about Bone cancer symptoms and treatment.
Blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, MIRs and ultrasound can all be used in the diagnosis of bone cancer and cancer of the bone marrow. Ultimately however, only a bone biopsy can provide a definitive diagnosis. By examining a sample of tissue, a Pathologist can determine whether cancer is present and how fast it’s growing, crucial information in determining the best course of treatment.
Types of Bone Cancer:
Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer. It rarely occurs in adults older than 25 years old. Osteosarcoma is usually found in the bones of the arms, legs and pelvis, and in bones that grow rapidly, such as the shoulders and knees.
Ewing's sarcoma is commonly found in children ages 4 to 15, and is rare in adults older than 30. It is an aggressive cancer typically found in the center of the long bones of the arms and legs.
Chondrosarcoma is found in cartilage cells and accounts for about 25 percent of bone tumors, making it the second most common type. Unlike most other bone cancers, it is most common in people older than 40. It is typically found in the large bones of the hips and pelvis.
Bone Cancer Symptoms:
The symptoms of bone cancer vary from one person to another according to the location and size of the bone cancer. Pain is one of the most common bone cancer symptoms. Generally, there is a gradual increase in the severity of the symptoms with time. At first, the pain may only be felt with activity or at night.
These are common types of Bone Cancer Treatment:
SurgeryHow bone cancer is treated depends on the type of tumor, how aggressive it is, the location of the tumor and whether or not the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, or a combination of the three.
Risks include infection, damage to surrounding muscles, nerves and blood vessels, and recurrence of the cancer. Patients are often prescribed a course of physical therapy after surgery to help them regain full use and strength in the limb where the tumor was removed.
Chemotherapy is administered by an oncologist, and comprises a series of powerful intravenous drug treatments aimed at stopping and reversing the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often used before surgery to shrink the tumor, making surgery less invasive. After surgery, it is used as a safeguard to kill any remaining cancer cells. The drugs kill cancer cells, but also affect hair, digestive tract cells and blood-forming cells. Loss of hair, nausea, loss of appetite, anemia and low energy are common side effects of chemotherapy. These side effects usually go away quickly after chemotherapy stops. Chemotherapy patients are sometimes referred to nutritionists to help with the anemia and loss of appetite.
Radiation therapy is administered by a radiation oncologist, and comprises a series of high-energy X-rays aimed at the site of the tumor. This treatment is given in small doses over several days, sometimes months. The most common side effects are loss of appetite, fatigue and damage to the skin and other soft tissue at the site of the treatment. Patients who undergo surgery near the site of radiation therapy sometimes are slow to heal because of damage to the blood vessels at the site. Most side effects go away quickly after radiation therapy is over, but problems with slow healing may persist.
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, Jul 19 2010, 6:23 AM EDT
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