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Introduction to Bone cancer

Bone cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the bone. However, this is very rare. It is far more common that a cancer has spread (metastasized) from another part of the body. Bone cancer is rare and accounts for less than 1% of all new tumors. There are several types of bone cancer, and these are: osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma. While chondosarcoma affects adult people, osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma have been known to appear among the young, being that they primarily affect growing bones (and usually the long bones of arms and legs).


Cancer starts when some of the cells in the body turn abnormal, and then start to grow out of control. The exact cause of why this happens is unknown, but experts believe it to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The most common symptom of this condition is bone pain, while other symptoms may vary depending on the size and the location of the tumor.The treatment options for bone cancer include surgery (which is the most common one), radiation therapy, amputation, chemotherapy, etc. The doctor will discuss with the patient the best options and then prescribe the optimal course of treatment.

Prognosis


A prognosis is a medical opinion of the course and outcome of a disease. In other words, the prognosis is the chance of a patient having a recovery or a recurrence (return of the cancer). There are several factors that affect the prognosis of bone cancer, and these are: the type and location of the cancer, the patient’s age, overall health, the stage of the cancer, etc. When, a doctor discusses a person's prognosis, they will cautiously consider all of the factors that could affect that person's disease and treatment, and then try to predict what might happen. They will base the prognosis on the information that has been collected by researchers over many years about thousands of people with cancer.

While the survival rates may vary, progress is being made to greatly improve the survival rates for the most common types of bone cancer. For instance, a recent research has shown that Ewing's sarcoma patients with localized bone cancer had as much as a 72% survival rate, up from the 61% with previous treatments. The survival rate for osteosarcoma can be from 70% to 75% for localized primary bone cancer. Long term survival rate for those with chondrosarcoma is generally between 50% and 75%.

However, if the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body, the survival rate diminishes greatly. And, survival rates also vary dramatically depending on where the cancer metastasizes to.

Also, survival rates for secondary bone cancer depend on the degree of the metastases to the bone, the type of primary cancer, and other sites of metastasis. Usually, extensive metastases to the bone has very low survival rate.

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