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Cancer Awareness

July is Bone Cancer Awareness Month – Know the Types, Causes and Symptoms

What is Bone Cancer?

Bone cancer can be found in any bone of the body and has the potential to spread. Typically, bone cancer develops in the pelvis or the long bones, such as the legs and arms. Although it is less common than other cancer types, it’s good to be proactive and understand the different kinds of bone cancer, who’s at risk and the symptoms associated.

Primary Bone Cancer VS Bone Metastasis

Primary bone cancer can begin in any part of the bone structure including the bone itself, the muscle, tissues and blood vessels.

There are many types of primary bone cancer. Some are rarer than others, the most common types are as follows:

  • Chondrosarcoma starts in the early stages of cartilage cells. Chondrosarcoma can develop anywhere there is cartilage. Most often it starts in the pelvic bones, legs or arms. The risk of chondrosarcoma increases with age.
  • Ewing sarcoma is a group of tumors that start in the bone or nearby soft tissues. Although these tumors can develop at any age, they are most common in older children and teens.
  • Osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary cancer. It is found in the early forms of bone cells and often occurs in young people between the ages of 10 and 30.

Bone metastasis differs from primary bone cancer because it spreads into the bone from an advanced cancer such as prostate cancer or breast cancer. This is more common than primary bone cancer. When bone metastasis occurs, the cancer cells will need the same treatment as the advanced cancer the metastasis stems from.

Signs and Symptoms of Bone Cancer

Because there are many different types of primary bone cancers, the symptoms can differ depending on the type, location and the extent of the cancer. Common symptoms associated with most types of bone cancer are pain, a lump or swelling, and fractures.

Similar to other cancer types, bone cancer can cause weight loss or fatigue. If the cancer has spread beyond the bone, you might experience symptoms specific to the infected part of the body. For example, if bone cancer spreads to the lungs, you might experience difficulty breathing.

Symptoms are typically associated with other conditions, such as injuries or arthritis. If you notice persistent symptoms related to bone cancer or metastasis, see a doctor to catch tumors early.

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