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Cancer that begins in the bone is called primary bone cancer. Primary bone cancer is relatively uncommon in comparison with secondary or metastatic cancer (cancer that occurs initially in another organ and then spreads to bone tissue).
Causes of Bone Cancer
It's not clear what causes most bone cancers. Doctors know bone cancer begins as an error in a cell's DNA. The error tells the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These cells go on living, rather than dying at a set time. The accumulating mutated cells form a mass (tumor) that can invade nearby structures or spread to other areas of the body.
Types of bone cancer
Bone cancers are broken down into separate types based on the type of cell where the cancer began. Bone cancer types include:
Signs & Symptoms of Bone Cancer
Signs and symptoms of bone cancer include:
Diagnosis of Bone Cancer
Treatments of Bone Cancer
The treatment options for your bone cancer are based on the type of cancer you have, the stage of the cancer, your overall health and your preferences. Bone cancer treatment typically involves surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of treatments.
The goal of surgery is to remove the entire bone cancer. To accomplish this, doctors remove the tumor and a small portion of healthy tissue that surrounds it. Types of surgery used to treat bone cancer include:
Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a special machine moves around you and aims the energy beams at precise points on your body. Radiation therapy may be used to shrink a bone cancer to increase the likelihood that a surgeon can remove the entire cancer with surgery. In this situation, radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be used in people with bone cancer that can't be removed with surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may be left behind. For people with advanced bone cancer, radiation therapy may help control signs and symptoms, such as pain.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is most often given through a vein (intravenously). The chemotherapy medications travel throughout your body. Chemotherapy is often used before surgery, usually in combination with radiation therapy, to shrink a bone cancer to a more manageable size that allows the surgeon to use a limb-sparing surgery. Chemotherapy may also be used in people with bone cancer that has spread beyond the bone to other areas of the body.
When to seek Medical Advice
Make an appointment with your doctor if you or your child develops signs and symptoms that worry you.
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