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Cancer in the bones – what is it and how to detect it

There are different types of bone cancer that usually present with much pain. Although not a very common disease, it can occur in children and adults. Discover more details about this condition and if you have any doubts, do not forget to consult your doctor.

No one cared about Carlitos when he complained about his neck pain, sent him to the doctor and recommended massages, without imagining the seriousness of his suffering. He ignored them and could move less and less, to the point where he could barely walk. When finally Carlitos went to the doctor, the specialist not only did not prescribe massages but left him hospitalized. His problem, detected on a bone scan, was much worse: he had cancer of the bones.

Andrea’s case is just the opposite. Since a few years ago she had had a tumor in one of her breasts, Andrea routinely performed all the yearly checks to detect any other abnormalities that might arise. So the tests showed a small spot that turned out to be a tumor in the bones.

The case of Andrea has the peculiarity that he never had pain or any symptom that warned him, because in general this disease usually gives signs, like what happened to Carlitos. Among the main symptoms of bone cancer are Bone pain, Inflammation (swelling) and pain near the affected area, Fragility of the bone that tends to fracture (rupture), Fatigue, fever, anemia, weight loss.

As its name implies, bone cancer is the one that begins its development in the bones. It is known as primary bone cancer and is not a very common cancer. It is more common to produce what is called secondary bone cancer, which is when the cancer spreads to the bone from other parts of the body (as happened to Andrea).

However, when presented in the bone, the disease does not choose any particular. On the contrary, it can arise in any part of the body.

There are different types of cancer of the primary bone, according to the type of cell in which they begin. For example, it may be:

  • Osteosarcoma: It begins in the cells of the bones and usually occurs in children and young adults (from 10 to 25 years), as it affects the growing bones. It is seen most often in the bones of the knees, thighs and arms.
  • Chondrosarcoma: begins in the cartilage cells found at the end of the bones and most commonly affects adults older than 50 years. It occurs commonly in the pelvis, the bones of the thighs and the shoulders.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: believed to arise in the nerves within the bones. This type of cancer usually occurs in children and adolescents. It can also occur in people who have had radiation or chemotherapy treatments for other diseases. It occurs more in the pelvis, in the bones of the thighs, in the ribs and in the bones of the arms.

The treatment for bone cancer is different depending on the type of cancer, the size it has, the location of the body where it is and the stage it is in, as well as the age and health status of the person suffering from it.

Generally, surgery is the primary treatment. In other cases, limb amputation may be required, but many times to avoid it, the surgeon can remove the part of the affected bone and replace it with a prosthesis. Chemotherapy and radiation may then be used, either combined or separately.

It is always important that you ask all the questions that are necessary to clear your doubts to the specialist and, if you still have doubts, ask for a second opinion. The sooner the problem is detected, the sooner you can fight.

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