Bone cancer is a rare form of cancer that affects thousands of people around the world. It is estimated that it affects more than 2,000 people each year in the United States (US) itself. Bone cancer is most common in children and adolescents. However, a few adults may also get affected by it, primarily when cancer that begins in some other location spreads to a bone (metastasis). The bones of the hands and the legs are most commonly affected in case of bone cancer, however, other bones can also get affected.
What are the types of bone cancer?
Bone cancer can be of different types. Some of the common types of bone cancer include:
It is the most common form of malignant bone cancer. In males among the age group of 10 to 25 years, it often affects the areas of rapid growth such as the long bones of the arms and the legs, the shoulders and the area around the knees.
This form of aggressive bone cancer mostly affects children aged between 4 and 15. The middle of the long bones of the arms and the legs are most commonly affected.
It is another common type of malignant bone tumor that initiates in the cartilage. These can either grow very slowly or aggressively. The bones of the pelvis and the hips are most commonly affected.
This is a rare type of bone tumor that affects people aged between 35 and 55. It primarily affects soft tissues, particularly those behind the knees.
It has estimated that people lived for only six years after they are diagnosed with this rare type of cancer. It usually affects the upper or the lower end of the spine.
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The symptom of bone cancer varies according to the size and the location of the tumor. There are certain symptoms, specific or common to each type of bone cancer, which may appear during an activity or continue to persist for weeks or months. Some of the bone cancer symptoms include:
Pain at night or anytime during the day
The appearance of a lump around the bone
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How to do diagnosis of bone cancer?
Typically, a doctor questions a patient with symptoms of bone cancer about his or her family history, which is followed by a series of blood tests. The first blood test checks for the level of an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase, which is usually present in higher amounts during bone repair and in the presence of a bone tumor.
However, this enzyme is also present in higher amounts during the growth and development of the child. Since bone cancer primarily affects children, this is not a reliable form of the bone cancer diagnosis. However, this enzyme is also present in higher amounts during the growth and development of the child. Since bone cancer primarily affects children, this is not a reliable form of the bone cancer diagnosis.
What are the types of bone cancer surgery?
Surgery is the usual method preferred for the treatment of bone cancer. There are different types of bone cancer surgery that a doctor may decide to perform, based on the size and location of a tumor, the age of the patient and the stage of cancer. First of all, a diagnostic or staging surgery may be performed to determine the stage of cancer. Following this surgery, other types of surgery are performed, which include:
This type of surgery involves the removal of the cancerous tissue, in addition to some part of the surrounding healthy tissues. Therefore, the affected arm or the leg from where the cancer is removed remains intact. Limb-sparing surgery is most often used for the treatment of primary cancers. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the area of the bone affected by cancer, along with the cancer cells. The void created by the bone removal is filled by a metal implant. The prosthesis is fixed in place of the removed bone or joint when the entire cancer tissue has been removed from the location. The tendons and ligaments that originally held the bone together are also fixed back in place during the surgery.
In this procedure, the part of body affected by bone cancer is completely removed. Typically, the surgeon removes a part of the limb rather than the entire leg or arm affected by cancer. Amputation is done only when there is no other option left or when limb-sparing surgery is not possible, the patient develops an infection after limb-sparing surgery or when complete cancer removal is impossible without conducting amputation.
This type of surgery may be performed after limb-sparing surgery or amputation to rebuild or reshape a part of the body that was modified or changed during the previous surgery for cancer removal.
This type of surgery is performed to provide patient relief from symptoms associated with bone cancer, such as pain and lump formation.
Lymph node removal
Dissection may be performed to remove the lymph nodes from the body of the patient in case cancer has spread from the bone.
What happens after bone cancer surgery?
A patient who undergoes either limb-sparing or amputation surgery need rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy and other forms of therapies to be able to live quality life again. Recovery after amputation is particularly difficult for patients who lose their limb and face difficulty in walking or using their hands again. These patients may decide to get a prosthetic limb, which is a form of false leg or arm created with the help of computer-assisted design.
It is important for bone cancer patients to eat the right amount of food, stick to a balanced diet, maintain a healthy amount of weight and also stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Doctors may decide to conduct routine blood and other imaging tests to check for the recovery of the patient following the surgery. These may also be accompanied by a physical test that helps check for symptoms of cancer relapse. Any new or notable symptoms pain and swelling should be noted by the patients and informed to the doctor without any delay.
What are the advanced forms of bone cancer treatment?
There are certain advanced forms of bone cancer treatment that are still being studied. These include:
The use of radiation during the surgery to remove the cancer
Chemotherapy-like treatment to remove cancer cells, followed by the supply of stem cells to the patient for quick recovery
Targeted therapy to directly destroy proteins and genes that lead to cancer growth and development
What are the best hospitals for bone cancer treatment in India?
The Indian bone cancer treatment hospitals comprise some of the top-notch healthcare facilities that are renowned for their quality of medical services across the globe.
India is the major hubs for bone cancer treatment and surgery patients. The country has a wide network of public and private hospitals with state-of-the-art medical facilities, the latest technology, and highly experienced medical staff that specializes in providing effective treatment and care to the bone cancer patients.
A large majority of medical staff, including oncologists and orthopedic ANS in India, are trained from abroad and have their expertise in handling simple to complex cases. The hospitals that they work in are also equipped to handle all sought of medical emergencies and complexities.
What is the cost of bone cancer surgery in India?
The cost of bone cancer treatment in India is more than 60 to 70 percent less than what it costs in other countries that inhabit a majority of patients suffering from this disease, including the US and the UK. This is one of the primary reasons why bone cancer patients travel to these countries to seek treatment.
The cost of myeloablative therapy in India is also along the same line. It costs just $12,000 in India, while the same procedure costs around $72,000 in the US. For example, limb-sparing surgery may cost as much as $65,000 in the US, 60 percent more than what it costs in India ($10,000). Similarly, the cost of amputation is around $6000 in India and more than $35,000 in the US.
Who are the best bone specialists in India
An extremely high standard of bone cancer care is provided under the guidance of some of the best surgeons. Bone tumor treatment is performed at all major cancer hospitals in the country.
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Questions Regarding Bone Cancer Surgery
What is the bone cancer survival rate in India?
The bone cancer survival rate varies by cancer type and stage. The 5-year survival rate is about 60 to 80 percent if you are suffering from osteosarcomas and Ewing sarcomas that are still in the localized area. The 5-year survival rate is about 15 to 30 percent if cancer has spread to distant body parts.
What are the survival statistics for bone cancer?
After cancer diagnosis, a certain percentage of patients live at least 5 years. Many patients live much longer than 5 years and many are fully cured also.
What are the early signs of bone cancer?
Early signs of bone cancer include:
Pain in the bone
Tenderness and Swelling near the affected area
Bone is broken
Unintended weight loss
What is the best treatment for bone cancer available in India?
Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy are available in India for bone cancer treatment.
Where does bone cancer usually start?
A bone tumor usually starts in the bone itself. Primary bone cancers are also called sarcomas. They start in bone, muscle, fibrous tissue, and some other tissues. Sarcomas can develop anywhere in the body.
What is the best chemotherapy drugs used for bone cancer treatment?
Chemotherapy is used for bone cancer if it has spread through the bloodstream to the lungs or other organs. The best chemo drugs used to treat bone cancer include:
Are most bone cancers show up on x-rays?
Yes, Most bone cancers show up on x-rays of the bone. The affected bone may appear ragged or as a hole. The radiologist can often tell if a tumor is malignant after checking x-ray report. But biopsy is the only way that can absolutely determine that. To see if bone cancer has spread to the lungs, a chest x-ray is done.
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