About 3,260 people will be diagnosed with bone cancer in 2017 and about 1,550 people are expected to die from it. (American Cancer Society)
In a previous article, we explained what Bone Cancer is, let’s move ahead and gather information on what causes bone cancer, how is it detected and what are the probable treatments.
Scientists are yet to point the exact causes of bone cancer. Therefore, we need more effective research to know the definitive causes. However, professionals have listed some risk factors that attribute to it.
-If received high radiation dose especially at an early age.
–Genetics may play a role if the family have a long cancer history.
-Few other bone related diseases such as Paget’s disease.
-Exposure to petroleum products may play a role.
The most important process in Bone Cancer detection is to find out whether the tumour is cancerous or non-cancerous. This is usually done by X-ray imaging analysis. The diagnosis is done on the basis of the presence of a structured or unstructured tumour. Consequently, the disease is detected, since a cancerous tumour has uncontrolled cell growth making it irregular in shape. Moreover, X-ray imaging also helps to know if cancer has spread to other parts of the body or not.
-X-ray: To scan the body to find out all possible symptoms of the cancerous tumour.
–Bone Scan: a tracer injected into the body to examine the bones through the signals sent by the tracer. In the analysis, healthy bones appear grey and the unhealthy ones appear dark.
–Computed tomography scan (CT-scan): In this test, a 3-D image of the body is generated to look for all kinds of tumours. Using this technique, doctors can also determine the size and shape of a tumour.
–Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI): a magnetic field is used to image the body and to look for tumours, along with its shape and size.
-Positron emission tomography (PET): a small amount of radioactive sugar is injected into the body and its reactions are studied. This radioactive substance goes around the body with the help of cells and when it interacts with cancerous cells, they absorb most of the substance. This whole process is scanned to produce an image of our body and to locate cancer cells.
Doctors may also ask for a blood test report to check for higher level of alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. These chemicals are at the high level when bone cells are very active and so happens in cancer. However, it does clearly define the presence of a cancerous tumour, since bone cells are also very active during healing of a broken bone and in growing age. Additionally, when all the tests are done, the professionals go for a biopsy test to be sure about cancer, its type, and stage.
Treatment and care depend on the stage of cancer. Frequently, a treatment plan is a combination of different treatments. Depending on the condition, the plan includes the most effective treatment combination.
Some common treatments are:
– Radiation therapy
Other than treatments doctors also check for side effects of treatments. A cancer treatment does not only include a surgeon, but it also involves counsellors, dietitians, and other professionals that may help treat cancer and in recovery. Like all other Cancers, this one too requires an early detection and consequent care in order to save a patient’s life.
Edited by Preetika Dubey