Bone cancer refers to a disorder of the bone associated with abnormal functioning of the bone tissues. There is an occurrence of tumor in the bone which may be either cancerous or non cancerous. The non cancerous tumors are not life threatening. Also, these do not cause any harm to the bone tissues.
However, the cancerous tumors are harmful for the bone tissues and may prove to be life threatening. The cancer can be spread to the bones through other body areas like lung, prostate and breast. However, it can also begin directly in bones.
The most common symptom of bone cancer is pain in the bone; however, other symptoms like joint inflammation and fracture due to weakness in bones are also associated with bone cancer. Other non-specific symptoms include fever, anemia, and fatigue. The treatment of bone cancer often depends upon the type of cancer, and the affected bone.
The size and stage of tumor also play great roles in determining the type of treatment. The health and age of the patient also help in determining the type of bone cancer treatment. The selected treatment for bone cancer depends upon the mutual decision of the patient, family members and doctor.
There are basically four bone cancer treatment options, which consist of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cryosurgery. A brief description of all these treatment options is given below.
Bone Cancer Treatment Options
Surgery is the most popular treatment practiced in case of patients suffering from bone cancer. The bone tumor is removed with the help of a surgical process, after which a reconstructive surgery is carried out so as to allow the affected bone to function in a proper manner.
Radiation therapy is often used along with surgery to deal with bone cancer. High energy rays are used for killing the cancerous cells, thus helping to restore the health of the bones.
Chemotherapy may either be used alone, or in combination with radiation therapy, as a treatment for bone cancer. In case of chemotherapy, anti cancer drugs are used for killing the cancer cells.
In this kind of treatment, liquid nitrogen is used for freezing and killing the cancerous cells. The treatment may be practiced quite a few times, to remove the cancerous cells from the bones.
The treatment for bone cancer might result in destruction of healthy bone tissues and cells in certain cases. This eventually results in some side effects, which may vary from one person to another, taking into account his or her general health and age.
The most common late side effects associated with bone cancer include physical problems and fluctuation in feelings, mood and thinking. Loss of memory is also noticed in a few people.
A few people might be affected by some other type of cancer in the long run. It is very important for the doctor to explain the risk factors associated with various bone cancer treatment options, and the ways to prevent the side effects, so as to maintain optimum health in the long run.