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Bone Cancer-Overview

This is a type of cancer, rather uncommon, that starts inthe bone. It can begin in any bone of the body, but, in most cases, it beginsin the long bones that make up arms and legs. It is, however, far more commonthat the cancer originated from somewhere else in the body and then spread tothe bone.

This is called a metastatic cancer, and it is usually named after theplace it originated from.There are three types of bone cancer: osteosarcoma (thatdevelops in growing bones), chondrosarcoma (that affects the cartilage), andEwing’s sarcoma (that begins in nerve tissue in bone marrow ofyoung people, often after treatment of another condition with radiation orchemotherapy). Children can be affected by osteosarcoma and Ewing’ssarcoma (while chondrosarcoma occurs usually in people over 50).

The exact cause of cancer is yet unknown. Expertsknow that cancer occurs when some cells in the body turn abnormal and thenstart to grow out of control.


Bone cancer in children symptoms are different, mostly dependingon the size and location of the tumor.The most common symptoms of bone cancer inchildren are: bone pain, joint pain, constant and inexplicable weight loss,headaches and vomiting (particularly in the morning), long-lasting nausea (withor without vomiting), fatigue, paleness, swelling around the joints or bones, morefrequent fractures, a lump in the abdomen, neck, pelvis, chest or armpits,recurring fevers, and a whitish color behind the pupil, etc.

Should a parent notice any of these symptoms,it is vital that they consult a doctor immediately. The child needs to be takento a specialist as soon as the first symptoms have presented themselves (whilethis means that the cancer has not entered more advanced stages). In that way,the treatment that the doctor prescribes will be more effective.


If a child has a bone cancer, they will betreated in a hospital, or part of a hospital, that specializes in diagnosingand treating children’s cancers (a children’s cancer centre). Theseplaces try to give the child as positive of an experience as possible accordingto the unfortunate circumstances.

The treatment options for bone cancer are based on the type of cancerthe child has, the stage of the cancer, and their overall health.The possible treatments include surgery (in which only the tumor and thesurrounding tissue, or a limb may be removed), chemotherapy or radiation therapy.3 out of 4 people with osteosarcoma are cured, (however, only if thecancer has not metastasized).

Children are treated with limb-sparingsurgery, however the arm or leg continues to be used well by the children. Adoctor will discuss with the parents the best way of treating their child.

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