American Cancer Observes Bone Cancer Awareness Month In July
Bone cancer is cancer that starts with bone cells. In other words, the bone is the primary site of the tumor. Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, and Ewing sarcoma are types of bone cancer. Different types of cancer often spread to the bone but are not technically bone cancer.
Bone cancer makes up less than 1 percent of all cancers. It can affect any bone in the body but usually affects the long bones in the legs and arms, and the pelvis. Unfortunately, children are the ones most often diagnosed with bone cancer.
Since July is bone cancer awareness month, let’s look more closely at some important things to know about it.
Symptoms and Signs Of Bone Cancer
It is not always to detect bone cancer because everyone has aches and pains from time to time, especially people who are athletic. A child who plays soccer or football experiences discomfort after a practice or game, often. What are some indications that there might be a bigger problem? According to the Mayo Clinic, be on the lookout for:
- Bone pain
- Swelling and tenderness near the site of the pain
- Bone fracture
- Weight loss that is unintentional
If you or your child experiences some of these symptoms, should you see a doctor? Mayo Clinic suggests that if you have bone pain that comes and goes, becomes worse at night, or does not respond to over the counter pain relievers, make an appointment with a doctor.
Know The Risk Factors of Bone Cancer
There is not much evidence about what causes Bone Cancer to develop. Unlike other cancers, there is no conclusive link between smoking or diet and bone cancer. However, doctors agree that some factors might increase your risk of developing bone cancer. They are:
Exposure to high levels of radiation – For example, if you receive radiation treatment for cancer, it can increase your risk of developing bone cancer in the future.
Paget’s disease of the bone– This disease affects older adults primarily and can increase the risk of developing bone cancer in the future.
Genetics – There are rare, inherited genetic syndromes that can increase the risk of bone cancer. These include hereditary retinoblastoma and Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Bone Cancer?
First, as with many cancers, doctors will likely conduct imaging tests to determine the size and location of any tumor, and if there is more than one site. Imaging can include a CT scan, MRI, PET scan, X-ray, or bone scan.
The doctor will likely conduct biopsies to determine whether the tumor(s) are malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancer).
Treatments for Bone Cancer
Once the doctor determines the type of cancer, size, how fast or slow it is growing, if it has spread to other parts of the body, how many bones it is affecting, and more, a course of treatment is planned. Any treatment plan will depend on things like the stage of bone cancer, the type of cancer, and the overall health and wishes of the patient.
Surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation (and sometimes all three) can be part of the treatment of bone cancer.
If you or someone you love receives a bone cancer diagnosis, surround yourself with a network of supportive, helpful friends and relatives to help you through. Bone cancer often involves a difficult treatment journey, but one that is successful.
Send a Gift Basket If Someone You Know Has Cancer
At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has bone cancer or any other type of cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.