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Bone Cancer

Find out the signs and symptoms of bone cancer

Bone cancer refers to any number of tumors that grow and metastasize within the bone. More than 2,000 people a year in the United States present with a bone tumor. There are many different types of bone cancers; some include osteosarcoma, which is the most common, lymphoma, and Ewing's sarcoma. Bone cancer is caused by unnatural growth of cells within the body, and a true environmental cause is not yet known.

Bone cancer affects people who are mostly under the age of 25. For some reason, it is quite common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, appearing in the long bones of the arms and legs and producing tumors after rapid growth in these areas.

Bone cancer symptoms

The most common symptom of bone cancer is pain that will not go away and can often be quite severe in nature. Other symptoms of bone cancer can include fever, chills, night sweats and tingling, though these are not normally felt until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The bones can become extremely weakened and fracture easily, or you can feel a lump or a mass on your bone. Some bones break just by standing on them -- this is one of the true signs of bone cancer.

Bone cancer treatment

Unfortunately, bone cancer is not easily treated, and has only a 65% chance of a 5-year remission rate even with treatment. Because of the aggressive nature of the carcinoma, surgery is almost immediately recommended, followed by intense treatment with chemotherapy and radiation. These treatments carry a certain amount of risk, and it is important to continue to consult with your doctor during your treatment plan. Doctors may also refer you to a nutritionist to ensure that you are getting the correct amount of nutrition despite the extreme side effects from your treatment.

Bone cancer can spread very aggressively, so it is important to go to your doctor at the first sign of bone pain that will not go away. Children especially are at risk, as the cancer can attack their rapidly growing bones. With treatment, however, bone cancer's symptoms and effects can be lessened, and in some cases, cured.

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