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Bone Cancer

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Serge Golovchansky

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Bone Cancer

By: Serge & Shivam Bone Cancer What Is Affected By Bone Cancer? Social and Ethical Issues Nobody to this day is certain about what causes bone cancer. A very small number of bone cancers (especially osteosarcomas) appear to be hereditary and are caused by defects (mutations) in certain genes. One thing for sure is that, it's not contagious as you cannot catch it from someone else.

However, what we do know is that certain groups of people are more likely to get bone cancer then the next person. Causes of Bone Cancer The best treatment is based on the type of bone cancer, the location of the cancer, how aggressive the cancer is, and whether or not the cancer has invaded surrounding or distant tissues (metastasized). There are three types of treatment for bone cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Forms of Treatment: PRO's and CON's The outlooks for a patient’s survival with bone cancer are improving. With technology increasing and advancing every day, early diagnosis and treatments are improving the survival rates from these cancers. Advanced surgical options have drastically decreased the need for amputation to occur. With improved chemotherapy and radiation therapy related side effects of these treatments have decreased.
The survival rate for osteosarcoma is 70% to 75% for localized primary bone cancer.
Long term survival rate for those with
chondrosarcoma is between 50% and 75%. Prognosis Bones are a necessity in anything we do that requires physical work and it is unfortunate that problems like bone cancer can arise. If the bone cancer gets too serious, the patient may need to resort to amputation, this can be a serious issue for a lot of people. If it does come to amputation, the person now will have aesthetic/artificial limbs replacing his/her old cancerous ones. Even with today's technology, the patient will no longer be the same as he/she possibly won't be able to cope with certain things and participate in certain activities/events. Although, amputation isn't always the case... The bone cell consists of; Osteoclasts (break down and remove old bone), Osteoblasts (build new bone), and Osteocytes (carry nutrients to the bone).

Osteosarcoma often starts in the bones around the knee joints and it has the ability to spread to other parts of the body.

Other types of bone cancers usually also affect the bones or the soft tissues. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer as it starts in new tissue in growing bones. It destroys tissue and weakens the bone. How is Bone Cancer Detected and Diagnosed? Tests are often routinely used to detect cancers, however, at this time there are no special tests out there to detect bone cancer. The best way to detect bone cancer is to know the signs or symptoms of this disease. Which is...


For bone cancer, there are 3 initial types of diagnostic tests which inlcude; an Imaging Study, a Blood Test, and a Biopsy. Preventive Measures Since bone cancer is a lot less likely to trigger compared to other types of cancers, it is very hard to find out the exact precautions needed to prevent bone cancer. However, having a balanced diet and nutrition helps keep a lower risk of any cancer including bone cancer (e.g eating all five of your daily servings of food groups). Having a low fat diet and checking your calorie intake helps keep your system in balance. Also, physical training is another component that reduces the chance of cancer to trigger. For example, doing yoga or various types of activities that work your body. Exercising daily improves your blood circulation which in the end reduce your chance of getting cancer. Finally knowing your genes is very important since often times, if a relative/someone in your family's past had a history with cancer. This may increase your chance of getting bone cancer even though hereditary causes are not likely with this type of cancer. The following groups of people may be at a higher risk of developing bone cancer (risk factors):

-Being a child or very young adult - most cases of bone cancer occur in children or young adults aged up to 20.

-Patients who have received radiation therapy (radiotherapy).

-People with a history of Paget's disease.

-People with a close relative (parent or sibling) who has/had bone cancer.

-Individuals with hereditary renoblastoma - a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children.

-People with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition.

-Babies born with an umbilical hernia. PAIN Pain is the most common symptom of bone cancer. Other symptoms may include; pain or tenderness in the area of the tumour, persistent ache that may feel worse at night, swelling or a lump, problem moving the affected joint, and/or broken bones. Imaging studies includes the use of x-rays, bone scans, CT scans, or MRIs. It allows tissues, organs and bones to be looked at in more detail as your healthcare team can get a picture of the size of the tumour and see if it has spread. This is painless and does not require an anesthetic. For blood tests, blood is taken from the patient to be studied to see if the different types of blood cells are normal in appearance and number. This will show how well your organs are functioning and might suggest whether or not you have cancer. Also, these tests can show other signs of disease in your blood or abnormal levels of enzymes.




A biopsy is often necessary to make a definite diagnosis of cancer. Cells are removed from the body and studied under a microscope to see if the cells are cancerous. There are different ways to perform a biopsy including; core needle biopsy, or incisiononal biopsy. Surgery The goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor and a surrounding area of the normal bone. After the tumor has been removed, a pathologist examines it to see if there is normal bone completely surrounding the tumor. Depending on the amount of bone removed, the surgeon will replace something in its location. For small areas, it can be either bone cement or a bone graft( another bone from the body) from another place in your body or from the bone bank. For large areas, the surgeon may choose to place larger grafts from the bone bank or metal implants. Some metal implants have the ability to grow when used in growing children.

Pros: Major portion of cancer is removed,

Cons: risky, only done by professionals, skilled and complicated, have to go to treatment center,
Chemotherapy can be used before the surgery to try and shrink the bone tumor to make surgery much easier. It can also be used after surgery to try to kill any remaining cancer cells left after the surgery. The use of chemotherapy after the surgery is to try and kill off any cancer cells that escaped before the tumour was removed. This lowers the risk of the cancer ever coming back in the future.

Pros: Cures many more people than surgery alone, reduces and relieves symptoms.

Cons: zoned for Ewing's sarcomas and osteosarcomas, but not for all patients., drugs given interfere with healthy cells, alter bone metabolism Chemotherapy
Radiation therapy uses a high-energy X-ray aimed right at the site of the cancer so it can try to kill the cancer cells. This treatment is given to the person in small doses daily over a period of days or months. Radiation therapy can be used either before or after a surgery, which depends on the specific type of cancer the person has.

Pro: very good at shrinking cancers in the bones and relieving pain and other symptoms caused by pressure from the cancer.

Cons: takes time, damages cells in the path of the beam, normal and cancer Radiation therapy These ways have reduced the need for amputations. However, There are factors that affect a person's prognosis...

•The type and location of the cancer

•The stage of the disease (the extent to which the cancer has metastasized, or spread)

•Its grade (how abnormal the cancer cells look and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread)

•The person's age, general health, and response to treatment. For transplant of bone marrow, sometimes you cannot refer to Autologous which in other words means, you cannot use your own stem cells for treatment. These stem cells may come from a donor and this process is called Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplant. The main problem of using this process is the fact that in most cases, donor's are very hard to come by. There are many barriers for others preventing them from being a donor, for example, religious views. Some religions will not allow the person to become a donor and in some cases, the patient himself, will not be able to attend such surgery because of this barrier. Other barriers include personal attachment, for example, a family just witnessed a family member pass away. That member that passed away could be a donor but some families feel as if they're being violated and so, this creates a barrier. Permission is needed by both parties, the patient and the donor.
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