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Bone Cancer

Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a malignant tumour of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue. Not all bone tumours are malignant. In fact, benign (non-cancerous) bone tumours are more common than malignant ones. Both malignant and benign bone tumours may grow and compress healthy bone tissue, but benign tumours do not spread, do not destroy bone tissue, and are rarely a threat to life

Cause & Risk

Although bone cancer does not have a clearly defined cause, researchers have identified several factors that increase the likelihood of developing these tumours. Osteosarcoma occurs more frequently in people who have had high-dose external radiation therapy or treatment with certain anticancer drugs; children seem to be particularly susceptible A small number of bone cancers are due to heredity.


Pain or tenderness in the area of the tumour swelling around the affected area of bone Reduced movement Broken bone

General symptoms in the body - These may include tiredness, a high temperature or sweats and weight loss. These symptoms are uncommon but sometimes occur in people with Ewing’s sarcoma.

Diagnosis & Treatment

To help diagnose bone cancer, the doctor asks about the patient’s personal and family medical history. The doctor also performs a physical examination and may order laboratory and other diagnostic tests. Treatment options depend on the type, size, location, and stage of the cancer, as well as the person’s age and general health. Treatment options for bone cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and cryosurgery.

Further Information

Bone cancer sometimes metastasizes, particularly to the lungs, or can recur (come back), either at the same location or in other bones in the body. People who have had bone cancer should see their doctor regularly and should report any unusual symptoms right away. Follow-up varies for different types and stages of bone cancer. Generally, patients are checked frequently by their doctor and have regular blood tests and x-rays. People who have had bone cancer, particularly children and adolescents, have an increased likelihood of developing another type of cancer, such as leukaemia, later in life. Regular follow-up care ensures that changes in health are discussed and that problems are treated as soon as possible.

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