Many people hear the word cancer and think about skin cancer and breast cancer. They do not often associate cancer with the bones in the body. This may be because bone cancer is actually a very uncommon form of cancer. There are usually less than 200,000 cases per year. Bone cancer is a mass of unusual cells that grow in a bone. Bone cancer can begin in any of the bones in the body. Although all bones can be affected, bone cancer usually affects the long bones that make up the arms and the legs. The term bone cancer is quite specific. It does not include any cancer that had started elsewhere in the body and spread to the bone. It is specific to a cancer that started directly in the bone.
There are several different types of bone cancer. They are broken down into these types based on the type of cell where the cancer began. There are three types of bone cancer that are most common. The first type of bone cancer is called osteosarcoma. This type of bone caner begins in the bone cells. Osteosarcoma occurs most often in children and young adults, so it is important for parents to look at their children for any signs or symptoms. This type of bone cancer usually is in the bones of the leg or arm.
The next type of bone cancer is called chondrosarcoma. This type of cancer starts in the cartilage cells. It usually occurs more often in middle-edged or older adults. Chondrosarcoma most commonly occurs in the pelvis, legs, or arms.
The last type of common bone caner is called Ewing’s sarcoma. Unlike the other two types of bone cancer, it is not actually known what cells that cancer starts in. However, most of the tumors that are found with this type of cancer arise in the pelvis, legs or arms. This type of cancer affects children or young adults. It is often compared to chondrosarcoma for the younger generation.
There are not very many symptoms that come along with the different types of bone cancer. The symptoms that do occur are quite specific, and if any or noticed in oneself or their child, they should be taken to a doctor as soon as possible. One of the first symptoms that occurs is pain. Pain in the affected bone is the most common complaint of patients who have one cancer. The pain is not constant at first. Many people think that the pain is worse at night or when the bone is in use. The pain will usually grow while the cancer grows.
Another common symptom of bone cancer is swelling. The swelling in the area of the affected bone may not occur until weeks after its onset. In some occasions, it may be possible to feel a lump or mass. This is also dependent on the location of the tumor.
When bone cancer affects a bone, the bone is then weakened, making it prone to fractures. This is a fairly uncommon symptom in people who have bone cancer. People with a fracture in a bone next to or through the affected bone have described it as a sudden severe pain in a limb that had been sore for at least a few months.
Although bone cancer is uncommon, it can be a painful and horrible cancer to deal with. Making sure to take note of the differences between the types of bone cancer and the possible symptoms will make it easier to catch the cancer at its inception.