Bone cancer

Bone cancer is a rare malignant disease. It can occur in any bone of the body, but most often affects the long bones of the arms and legs.

There are several varieties of the disease. Some types occur mainly in children, while others mainly affect adults.

The term “bone cancer” does not cover cancers that originate in other parts of the body and spread /metastasize/ to the bones.

Instead, these malignancies are named according to the site of their initial occurrence, such as breast cancer metastases to bone.

The disease also does not cover malignant blood cell abnormalities, such as multiple myeloma and leukemia, which start in the bone marrow – the jelly-like substance where blood cells are formed.

What are the symptoms?

• Pain in the bones;
• Swelling and painful sensations near the affected area;
• Occurrence of a bone fracture due to a minor injury;< br/> • Fatigue;
• Causeless weight loss;

What are the causes?

It is not clear what causes most cases of bone malignancy. Doctors know it starts as a mistake in the cells’ DNA.

The mutation instructs the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrollable way. These cells continue to live and do not die at their appointed time.

The accumulation of mutated cells forms a mass /tumor/, which can invade surrounding structures or spread to other parts of the body.

Types of bone cancer

• Osteosarcoma – occurs as a result of a mutation in the DNA of bone cells and develops most often in children and young people.

• Chondrosarcoma – starts in the cartilage cells that most often form the ends of bones and most often affects people of advanced age.

• Ewing’s sarcoma – scientists are not sure which cells this variety of the disease originates from. It is thought to start from the nerve cells in the bone. It occurs most often in children and young people.

Although it is not clear what causes the malignancy, scientists have identified some risk factors that are associated with an increased risk of its occurrence and include:

• Inherited genetic syndromes – some rare inherited diseases are thought to cause bone cancer, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome and hereditary retinoblastoma.

• Paget’s disease of bone – a precancerous condition that affects the elderly and is believed to be a predisposing factor for bone malignancy;

Radiation therapy for cancer treatment – exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation during radiation therapy procedures;

Treatment of bone cancer

Treatment methods are determined based on the type of bone malignancy, its stage, the patient’s general health and preferences.

Treatment usually consists of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy or a combination of procedures.


The goal of the operation is to remove the entire malignant entity. To achieve this, doctors remove the entire tumor and a small part of the healthy tissues that surround it.

The types of surgical procedures that are applied are:

Removal of a limb – when the malignant tumor is located in a hard-to-reach place in the bone or is too large, it may be necessary to perform an operation to remove part or all of the limb.

Removal of the tumor with preservation of the limb – if the malignant formation is located in such a place that it is possible to remove it by separating the nerves and other tissues from it, then the bone is preserved.

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