Bone Cancer Awareness Month & Ribbon
Bone cancer also called as Osteosarcoma, affects the bones of the body, the long bones in particular. There are different types of bone cancer that affect both adults and children.
Bone cancer can be characterized by bone pain, inflammation in and around the affected bone, fragile or brittle bones that are prone to fracture, fatigue and rapid weight loss. Fever, chills and night sweats are also other signs of the disease, but occur only in the later stages.
Causes of bone cancer can be many, but the base lies in genetic aberrations to the bone cells and the uncontrolled growth of such cells. People with a predisposition for certain rare genetic diseases like retinoblastoma and those who had radiation therapy for cancer are more likely to develop bone cancer. Depending on where the cancer originates, bone cancer can be:
Diagnosis of bone cancer begins with assessment of clinical symptoms and then prescribing for imaging tests such as X-ray, bone scan, CT scan, MRI and PET scans. When these show some positive results, a bone biopsy is conducted to study the histopathology of the bone cells. Based on the biopsy results the stage of cancer is determined depending on the degree of damage and spread.
Lifestyle changes such as balanced diet, giving up smoking and excess alcohol consumption and keeping active through exercise are some of the ways you can avoid susceptibility to cancer.
Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hair fall and fatigue. Targeted therapies are very well tolerated by the patients as they are mostly proteins and hence less toxic than any other medication.