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Bone cancers

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Author: Geogina Bolts

Bone cancer is a growth found in any part of the bone. Most bone cancers develop predominantly from bone, cartilage, muscle, fibrous tissue, fatty tissue or nerve tissue. Bone cancer is a rare form of cancer. The human body is made of more than 200 bones. Bone cancer can present itself in any of the bones of the body, but it is diagnosed most often in the long bones of the arms and legs. While it can start at any age, the most common types of bone cancer occur in children and young adults.

Bone cancers are malignant growths that develop in the bones and are less common than benign bone tumors. Common leukemias include acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. Bone cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue. Not all bone tumors are malignant. Bone cancer is a malignant (cancerous ) tumor of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue. Not all bone tumors are malignant.

Bone cancer which has not spread outside the bone may just be treated with surgery and not require chemotherapy. More abnormal bone cancer that has spread will be more difficult to treat, and chemotherapy as well as surgery is usually recommended. Bone cancer is the 24th leading site overall, 18th in males and 21st among females. In 1998, an estimated 769 new cases will be seen, 479 cases among males and 290 among females. Bone cancer also can interfere with normal movements and can weaken the bones, occasionally leading to a fracture. Other symptoms may include fatigue, fever, weight loss and anemia.

Bone cancers can also happen when tumors that start in other organs, such as breasts, lung, and prostate, metastasize (spread) to the bone. Multiple myeloma is the most common type of bone cancer. Bone cancer often causes pain and tenderness in the affected area. This is often worse at night. Bone cancer is rare and only accounts for 0.2% of all cancers. Approximately 8,000 Americans will be diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma this year and about 3,500 will die as a result.

Pain is the most frequent symptom of bone cancer, but sometimes a lump on the bone can be felt through the skin. Pain control from the patch will last about 3 days. Pain is the most common symptom. Treatment usually involves surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Benign (non-cancerous) tumors of cartilage are more common than malignant ones. These are called enchondromas. Benign bone tumors (i.e., those that do not spread) include osteomas, osteoblastomas, and osteochondromas. These types of bone tumors usually are treated surgically.

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