Bone cancer is not a cancer that is widely known about. This is because it is a very uncommon type of cancer. It affects less than 200,000 people each year, unlike skin cancer that has affected more people than all other cancers combined in the last decade. Although it is not a cancer that affects many, it is a cancer that people should be educated about. Being educated about bone cancer can help people recognize signs, symptoms, causes and risk factors. This may make them go to the doctor and get diagnosed and treated before the cancer goes into later stages and spreads throughout the body. To get the education of bone cancer started, here are five interesting facts about bone cancer that you may have not known about.
1.) There Are Three Main Types
Many people think cancer is an overall term that describes the part of the body that is being affected. However, they may not know that each body part that has cancer may have different types. This is the case with bone cancer. There are three main types of bone cancer. Their names are: osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma. These cancers are specific to the cells in which they originated, and which bones they affect in the body.
2.) Most Bone Tumors Are Not Cancerous
Although there are many reports of bone tumors every single year, a majority of them are not cancerous. This means that they do not inflict any damage to the bone, and are usually just a clump of cells that have lumped together on a bone. Doctors can usually remove these with no problem, and the person is healthy, as are their bones.
3.) There Are Four Stages Of Bone Cancer
Like other cancers, bone cancer has different stages. The first stage is when a biopsy reveals that the bone cancer is not aggressive, and it has not spread to other parts of the body. The second stage is when the cancer is still in the bone tissue, but it is more aggressive than stage one. It will spread in due time. Stage three is when the cancer has spread to other tissues in the bone. The final stage is stage four, and this is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
4.) Bone Cancer Can Be Caused By Other Cancers
Bone cancer can originate from cells in the bones becoming cancerous, but it can also form when other cancers become advanced and spread to the bones. This is called metastatic bone cancer. This is when another type of cancer, like lung or skin cancer, has metastasized itself and has spread to the bones and caused a tumor.
5.) Surgery Is Not The Preferred Treatment
Doctors would rather use radiation therapy and chemotherapy instead of doing invasive surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can kill the cancer cells in the bone without making any incisions or removing any part of the bone. Surgery is necessary when these two methods cannot get rid of all of the cancer alone.