Bone Cancer


Bone cancer is usually metastatic, which means the cancer formed elsewhere and then moved to the bone. The cancer cells in the bone will look like the cells from wherever they came. For example, if the cancer started in the prostate, then the cancer cells in the bone will look like those of the prostate. When the cancer starts in the bone it is called myelome, and it doesn’t start in the bone itself, but the bone marrow. The main type of bone cancer is sarcoma, which forms in the bone, or other places like tendons and fat tissue. Bone cancer is more common in children than in adults, and the basic type is osteosarcoma. Bone cancer is rare, especially when it forms in the bone itself, and not in another location and spread to the bone.

Video is a video on the basics of cancer, not just bone cancer)

The Causes of Bone Cancer

The cause is not exactly known, but doctors believe it may be ordinary hereditary defects, and maybe even because of metal implants. What they do know is that it begins as an error in the cells DNA. The cells live instead of die and the mutated cells collect and form a tumor. Most of the time the cancer begins somewhere else in the body, due to cell mutations.

Where does bone cancer affect?

Bone cancer affects the bone itself and/or the bone marrow, depending on whether the cancer was metastatic or myelome. The normal function of bones is to provide protection for internal organs, help with movement, help store nutrients, and even produce red blood cells, which is what the bone marrow would do.

What are risk factors associated with bone cancer?

Most of the risk factors that make chances higher for contracting bone cancer are usually linked to other diseases, treatments for other diseases, and simply age. A couple diseases that might increase the chance are Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, Rothmund-Thomson Syndrome, and Paget disease. Those diseases all have links with bone cancer along with radiation treatment for other cancer.

A tumor can be seen on the left.

What are the signs and symptoms of bone cancer?

There are a few signs and symptoms for bone cancer. Pain in the bone is common along with swelling in the area of the cancer. The pain and swelling both become more constant as the cancer grows. Another symptom might be a fractured bone, due to the cancer growing, but this is rare, and pain and swelling are usually the most prominent signs of bone cancer.

How is bone cancer detected?

The symptoms and other things like blood test can show bone cancer, but a biopsy is usually needed to real determine bone cancer, because the symptoms could be due to other diseases, like arthritis. Though, ct scans and MRI machines can also be used to detect bone cancer, but a simple needle biopsy may be more effective.

Staging process for bone cancer

There are four stages for bone cancer, and they determine how many places it affects in the bone and whether or not the cancer has spread throughout the body. First is stage one, and this simply means the cancer is secluded to the bone and has not spread, and not very aggressive. Then there is stage two, this means it is just like stage two, but has the chance to be aggressive and grow. Stage three means the bone cancer is aggressive and occurs in more than one place in the bone, but still secluded to the bone. Finally, stage four means the cancer has spread to other parts of body and is very aggressive.

Survival rate for bone cancer

Treatments for bone cancer
There are a lot of treatment options for bone cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation treatment, and targeted therapy. Although, commonly, the most recommended treatment for bone cancer is based on where the cancer is in the bone, how aggressive it is, and whether or not the cancer spread. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are the most recommended, just based on the bone cancer.

(This is a video on bones, just a basic video on the structure)

Side effects of treatment

Each treatment option has side effects that will effect the user. Chemotherapy has a few side effects like neutropenia, which means a low amount of white-blood cells, and anemia, which means a low red-blood cell count. With surgery, numbness and sharp pain may be a side effect after the surgery. This simply means the patient may have a numb spot where the surgery was located and even some pain in the same location. With radiation treatment, fatigue may be a side effect, which simply means the patient will lack energy and be tired. Another side effect of radiation treatment is hair loss, but this only is where the radiation treatment occurs, so scalp hair will not be loss of the radiation treatment is on the arm for bone cancer.

Doctor who treats bone cancer

A Musculoskeletal Oncologists would treat someone with bone cancer, because they specialize in bone cancer. They might work with other professionals, like physical therapists to see if surgery is necessary.

Basic structure of bone, tumor forms in marrow cavity

Current Statistics

The following are a few current statistics dealing with bone cancer. 28.9% of people diagnosed with bone cancer were under 20, and of those who died, 15.2% were under the age of 20. Also, 0.5% per 100,000 people will be diagnosed with bone cancer. Bone cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in Caucasians and African Americans. 2, 570 people will be diagnosed with bone cancer this year and 18.6% of those who die will, the highest rate will be 75 to 84 years old.

Famous people and bone cancer

Don Herbert, TVs Mr. Wizard had bone cancer along with Ted Kennedy’s son. Also Morag Morrison, who was a blind bowler, died of bone cancer. Michael Turner, a famous comic book illustrator also died of bone cancer.

TV's Mr. Wizard died at the age of 89

Works Cited
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