Bone Cancer Treatments
Diagnosing Bone Cancer
Very different types of tumors grow in our bones:
Primary bone tumors, which can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) and form from bone tissue, and metastatic tumors, which develop from cancer cells.
Here, malignant primary bone tumors (primary bone cancer) are much less common than benign primary bone tumors.
While both primary bone tumor types can grow, benign tumors do not spread and are extremely rarely life-threatening. Primary bone tumors belong to the group of cancers also known as sarcomas. At the same time, primary bone cancer is quite rare and accounts for less than 1% of all newly diagnosed cancers.
Cancer that spreads to the bones from other parts of the body is called metastatic bone cancer and is named after the organ or tissue where it originates. That type of cancer of the crab is much more common than primary bone cancer! Metastatic bone tumors can cause bone fractures, pain, and abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood.
Causes of bone cancer
There are no clearly defined causes for primary bone cancer; however, there are several factors that can significantly increase the likelihood of developing this type of tumor.
One of the main factors is previous cancer treatment with radiation, chemotherapy, or stem cell transplantation. People who have been treated frequently with high-dose external radiation therapy are so at risk; especially if that treatment occurred in childhood.
Inherited diseases are also a factor for possible causes: A number of bone cancers can be traced to hereditary conditions. For example, members of families with Li-Fraumeni syndrome or people with hereditary bone defects are at increased risk. Certain benign bone diseases also pose a risk: For example, people over 40 who have Paget’s disease of the bones are at increased risk of developing bone cancer.
Symptoms of bone cancer
First and foremost here is bone pain, but other symptoms may also occur and are well documented. Pain caused by bone cancer, usually starts with a feeling of tenderness in the affected bone, which then turns into a persistent ache. Common in long bones such as arms and legs, bone cancer can affect any bone.
Symptoms are difficult to read and are often confused with, for example, arthritis in adults or growing pains in children and adolescents.
Other symptoms often seen include swelling and redness, lumps on or around the bone, fever, unexplained weight loss and more. For persistent or worsening bone pain or frequently occurring symptoms like those listed above, it’s helpful to see a doctor for reassurance. An accurate diagnosis will give you peace of mind or planning security in case of an emergency.
Diagnosis of bone cancer
There are a number of tools available for diagnosis.
X-rays can often detect bone damage caused by cancer or new bone that grows because of cancer. If an X-ray suggests bone cancer, you should be referred to a specialized center that specializes in diagnosing and treating this disease.
The safest way to diagnose bone cancer is to take a sample of the affected bone and send it to a laboratory for testing. This is called a biopsy. The type as well as the grade of the bone cancer can be accurately determined here.There are two types of biopsies: A core needle biopsy, which is performed under anesthesia and involves inserting a thin needle into the bone to remove a tissue sample. As well as the open biopsy, which is performed under general anesthesia. Here, the surgeon makes an incision in the affected bone to remove a tissue sample.
Other possible tests include MRI, CT, bone marrow biopsies and boil scans.
The news that you have bone cancer can be a harrowing and frightening experience. It is especially difficult when you are still in your teenager years or a parent of a child who has just learned that he or she has bone cancer.These types of feelings can cause significant stress and anxiety, which in some cases can lead to depression.Therefore, it is important to seek conversation and help to let your feelings out and share them.
Treatment of bone cancer
The treatment of bone cancer is complex and requires specialized treatment depending on the type of primary bone cancer, location, size, and stage of the cancer, as well as the health of the individual.
The goal of treatment is to control the cancer and preserve the use of the affected area of the body!
There are a number of treatment options, such as surgery: depending on the location of the cancer, there are different types of surgery such as limb preservation surgery, surgery to remove the limb (amputation), or surgery on other parts of the body.
Another type of treatment is chemotherapy. Here, drugs are used to destroy cancer cells or slow their growth while causing as little damage as possible to healthy cells. The chemotherapy drugs are usually injected into a vein. Most people receive chemotherapy as a day patient, but some types of drugs require hospitalization.
Radiation therapy is also often used as a treatment method, using high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Typically, radiation therapy is given every weekday.
After treatments, follow-up appointments are the norm. Follow-up exams are required every 3-12 months for several years to make sure the cancer has not recurred. The risk of bone cancer recurring is greater in the first five years after treatment. If it does, treatment will likely include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Bone Cancer Treatment in Vienna at the Bone Orthopedic Tumor Center of the Wiener Privatklinik
Bone and soft tissue tumors are rare diseases. They often affect children, adolescents and adults. If they are not treated professionally, they can lead to tragic situations for the patient. Fortunately, we can save lives thanks to our leading specialists and state-of-the-art diagnostic and care facilities, as well as surgery and advanced chemotherapy. Even for large bone and soft tissue tumors, limb-sparing surgery avoids amputation in more than 95% of the time.