To begin with, there are two types of bone cancers. One of them is known to start on the bone cells itself and the second one starts elsewhere in the body and spreads to the bones. There are various ways to detect bone cancer. The most common symptom is pain in the bones. This pain is generally continuous and gets worse over time. It is important that you see a doctor for a thorough checkup of the pain in your bones is deep, nagging and seems almost permanent.
There are no definite causes of bone cancer; however, it is known to occur in children or young adults. It is also seen in patients who have undergone radiation therapy. Well, the good news is that here are many bone cancer treatments available today.
Bone cancer treatment generally depends on several factors. Some of these include the type of cancer involved, the location of the cancer in the body and how aggressive it is as well as whether it is localized or has spread to other parts of the body too. The three major approaches to treat such cancers are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Let’s take a look at all three options that are available:
Whenever your doctor selects surgery as an option, it is generally to remove the tumor. All of the tumor is removed if possible along with some of the tissue surrounding it. The risk in this treatment is that if some of the tumor is left behind, it eventually continues to grow and may spread to other parts of the body. Other surgical options include bone grafts. With bone grafts, the surgeon may take some bone from other parts of the body and replace the lost bone in the affected area. There are also cases when artificial bone may need to be inserted. The final option to surgical treatment is amputation in order to prevent the cancer to spread to other parts of the body and become fatal.
High energy x rays are used to penetrate the body and destroy the tumor. These rays damage the DNA inside the tumor cells and destroy their ability to reproduce. Radiation therapy is very useful in order to completely destroy the cancer cells and to effectively reduce the pain. A large tumor can also be reduced in size with radiation therapy. This makes it easier to be removed by surgery.
Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals or medicines to treat cancers. These medicines destroy the cancer cells. It is seen that sometimes chemotherapy itself is enough to completely cure cancer and destroy the tumor causing cells. It can also slow down the spread of cancer cells and sometimes also prevent the recurrence of cancers.
Bone cancers can be treated if diagnosed early. Make sure that you get screened for cancer at the very first sign of continuous, nagging pain in your bones that is deep, gets worse with time and does not subside with normal medication.