Bone Tumor

When cells divide uncontrollably and abnormally, they tend to form a mass or a tissue lump. This lump is called as a tissue. And when this lump appears in the bone, it is called as bone tumor. In case of bone tumor, the abnormal tissue growth displaces the healthy tissues.

Bone tumors are of two types-Benign and Malignant. Benign tumors are non-cancerous and they don’t spread to other parts of the body, thus, it is non-fatal disease. However, that does not rule out this fact that they can’t be dangerous and treatment is not required. Benign tumors too can grow and suppress the healthy bone tissues. Malignant tumors are cancerous and tend to spread throughout the body, where if treatment is not taken, can result in death.

Classification of Bone tumor

Bone tumors can be classified into two parts “primary tumors” which originate in bones or “secondary tumors” which originate in places other than bones and spread to the skeleton.

  • Primary bone tumors - Primarybone tumors can be divided into benign and malignant ones. Benign bone tumors may be neoplastic, traumatic, developmental, inflammatory or infectious. Benign bone tumors might be as follows- osteoma, osteochondroma, osteoblastoma, osteoid osteoma, enchondroma, aneurysmal bone cyst etc. Malignant bone tumors include Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, fibro sarcoma etc. The most common locations for both the bone tumors would be proximal tibia around the knee joint area and distal femur
  • Secondary bone tumors - Secondary bone tumors usually reach the skeleton of the body from the carcinomas of breast, lung, prostate, thyroid and the kidneys.

Causes of Bone Tumors

The exact cause of bone tumors is not known. A few possible causes of brain tumor might be genetic, radiation treatment or injuries to the bones. Men are at most risk of getting bone tumors because of their nature of the work, which might lead them to injuring their bones.

Symptoms of Bone Tumor

The most common symptom of bone tumor is the pain which gradually increases with the growth of the tumor. Additional symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, swelling at the site of the tumor or unexplained bone fractures.

Diagnosis for Bone Tumor

To diagnose a bone tumor, the doctor might ask the patient to undergo a physical exam to test for the tenderness of the bone and the range of motion. The doctor will also try to identify the family history, before asking the patient to undergo tests as follows:

  • Blood and Urine Tests: In this test the blood and urine samples are analyzed to identify the presence of different proteins, thus confirming the presence of bone tumor.
  • Imaging Tests - The doctor might ask the patient to initially undergo an X-ray which will determine the size and location of the tumor. After that, other tests like CT scan (which gives a series of images in detail about the inside of the body), MRI scan (which gives detailed images of the area in question) or angiogram (which gives the X-Ray of the blood vessels) are performed
  • Biopsies - In this, a sample of the tissue where tumor is suspected is removed using a needle or an incision and analyzed under a microscope

Treatment of Bone Tumor

Benign tumor can be removed through surgery. Malignant tumor can be removed using the following procedures:

  • Surgery: In this case the entire tumor is removed using a surgery and the removed part might be replaced with a metal plate.
  • Radiation Therapy: in this, the body is subjected to high dosage of X-rays to shrink the tumors and kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: In this, anti-cancer drugs are administered to kill the rapidly growing cancer cells.

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