Like we see, the increasing cancer cases globally have led to the urge of reading and understanding various cancers. One such common cancer type is bone cancer. Cancer, which can even lead to disability, if not treated on time. Hence, firstly it is essential to understand what bone cancer is precise. We know what cancer means but what happens to the bones in cases of bone cancer is a must to know. In an exclusive chat with Onlymyhealth, Dr. Vimal Pandita, Oncology, Senior Consultant, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Dehradun talks everything about bone cancer.
Dr Pandita says, "Bone cancer is a mass of atypical cells growing unregulated in a bone. Most bone tumours are non-cancerous and less than 1% constitute cancers. Like cancers, bone tumours/cancer also has different stages from 1 to 4. Bone cancer cause is mostly unknown. In very few cases, it may be linked to hereditary factors while in some, it may be linked to previous radiation exposure. Hence, more than understanding the cause, one must look for proper treatment for early detection and cure."
Weak Cancer Bones Can Break Often
In most cases where cancer is yet to be diagnosed, some may experience frequent fractures. This can be one of the most prominent reasons or symptoms of bone cancer. Dr Pandita adds, "Bone cancer makes the bone so fragile that it can break. Also, weak bones due to cancer can present as a fracture. As we have so many bones in a human body, tumour in the bone can begin in any bone in the body, but bone cancers most commonly affect long bone in arms & legs and pelvis."
Diagnosis Is A Must
Most cases of cancers require more prolonged treatment because of late diagnosis. Most of the cancers have nil symptoms and only start to show its sign when at later stages. Hence, one must look for urgent consultation with a specialist if any bone-related problem occurs. Apart from the blood test, any of all of the imaging tests may be required X-ray, CT Scan, MRI, Bone Scan, PET Scan. In most cases.
Treatment-Related Side Effects
However, while Undergoing treatment for bone cancer, which may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or all of them, a person may have to cope with treatment-related side effects. Physical side effects will depend on the type of treatment the Healthcare team will deal with it and try to minimise it. Dr Pandita classifies the side effects below:
Emotional & Social Side effects
- Talking to an Oncology Social Worker
- A counselor can help to develop more effective ways of coping & talking about concern
- One should seek constant support in their family members (for the one with cancer and even other family members)
- Cancer treatment can be expensive and can lead to stress and anxiety
- Patients and families should be encouraged to talk with their healthcare team
- One should look for proper guidance on treatment cost and ways to overcome the burden
- Oncology Social Workers may help in guiding towards resources that may help to reduce the burden on patients and their families
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