Bone cancer is of different types and stems from different causes and reasons. However, to say a straight cut YES or No to the question ‘’Is bone cancer curable’’ isn’t possible. Let us see what it is and if there are any treatments for this type of cancer.
What Is Bone Cancer?
When there is a formation of a tumor or an abnormal mass of tissue it is called bone cancer. Such formation can be malignant which indicates it is increasing rapidly and spreading to other body parts.
[Also Read: Questions to ask doctor about cancer]
A malignant tumor is more than often known to be cancerous. However, cancer rarely originates in the bones.
Types Of Bone Cancer
Amongst all the types of cancers, primary bone cancers are highly serious as they form straight in the bones or in the surrounding tissues like cartilage.
However, there is also secondary bone cancer which is the result of metastasizing or spread from another body part to the bones. This is called secondary bone cancer and it is also more prevalent than primary bone cancer.
Common primary bone cancer types include;
1. Multiple Myeloma(MM)
Multiple myeloma is very much common and is the result of the growth of cancer cells in the bone marrow. This growth causes tumours in different bones. Usually, MM is more prevalent in aged people. As this cancer has the best prognosis majority of the MM people don’t need treatment.
2. Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic sarcoma)
Usually, Osteosarcoma or osteogenic sarcoma affects adolescents and children, but can even happen in adults. It originates at the beginnings of the long bones in legs and arms.
It can as well stem in the shoulders, hips or other parts. It affects the hard tissue that forms the exterior layer of the bones.
It happens in thigh regions, pelvis and shoulders of aged people. It occurs in the subchondral tissue, which is a tough connective tissue between the bones. Amongst usually occurring primary bone cancers it is the 2nd most common one.
4. Ewing’s Sarcoma
Ewing’s sarcoma is the rarest cancer and can begin in the soft tissues that surround the bones or directly in the bones of young adults and children. The commonly affected areas include legs, arms and pelvis.
Symptoms Of Bone Cancer
- Swelling and pain in the affected bones
- Palpable hard mass in the limbs’ long bones
- Feeling fatigued or tired
- Weight loss
- Bones that break easily
Lesser common symptoms consist of;
Causes Of Bone Cancer
The bone cancer causes aren’t exactly known, however, certain conditions may lead to or heighten a person’s likelihood of getting this cancer.
1. Abnormal Cellular Growth
Healthy cells divide continually and replace older cells. After completion of this process, they die. However, abnormal cells continue to live. They begin to form tissue masses that turn into tumors.
2. Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy usually kills cancer including bone cancer. However, osteosarcoma may begin in a few people who undergo radiation therapy. Probably the high doses of radiation may lead to this condition.
Is Bone Cancer Curable?
It depends on the stage of bone cancer and also the type of bone cancer. However, bone metastasis isn’t curable, at the maximum, life can be extended. The metastatic bone cancer life expectancy is 6 to 48 months.
How To Diagnose Bone Cancer?
Generally, bone cancer is divided into 4 stages and a doctor may use the below methods to determine the cancer stages.
- A bone scan, which analyses the bones’ condition
- A biopsy, which examines a tiny sample of tissue
- A blood test
- Maging testing that consists of X-rays, besides MRI and CT scans
Treatment For Bone Cancer
Treatment depends on many conditions such as age, stage, overall health, and the size and location of the tumor.
- Medications include chemotherapy drugs, pain medications, bisphosphonates, and cytotoxic drugs.
- Radiation therapy may also be needed based on a doctor’s recommendation.
- Surgery may also be done to remove affected tissue or tumors. Amputation may at times be recommended to stop aggressively growing tumors and mass.
- Alternative therapies such as herbal treatments may also be suggested.
All in all, the answer to is bone cancer curable depends on many factors. However, one should understand that same as any other cancer even this cancer can be cured successfully when diagnosed early.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.