What is Bone Cancer?

Bone cancer is a type of cancer that can affect both children and adults. It can develop in any bone in the body, though the long bones of the arms and legs are the most commonly affected. Secondary bone cancer occurs when cancer spreads from another location to the bone, but it is not considered actual bone cancer because it does not originate in the bones. Bone cancer is uncommon, accounting for only 1% of all cancers, and noncancerous bone tumors are far more common than cancerous ones. Surgery is frequently used, but radiation and/or chemotherapy may also be used.

To understand how you can deal with bone cancer, you should know about the presenting symptoms and the causes of bone cancer.

Symptoms of bone cancer

Symptoms of bone cancer can be difficult to identify at first because they are frequently caused by noncancerous conditions such as sports injuries or joint problems, including forms of arthritis. Furthermore, the symptoms of bone cancer vary and can be affected by factors such as tumor location and type.

General signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tenderness or swelling in the vicinity of the affected area
  • Fractures as a result of bone weakness
  • Fatigue \anemia
  • Fever
  • Weight loss that was unintentional
  • Pain in limbs

Causes of bone cancer

The exact causes of bone cancer are still unknown but doctors have deduced a few risk factors that lead to bone cancer.

  • Hereditary Conditions. Many genetically disorders can cause bone cancer. Some of them are Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Retinoblastoma and Paget’s disease of bone.
  • A radiation therapy, especially if administered during childhood. A standard X-ray is not considered dangerous, but higher doses can raise your risk. This is more likely to occur in a child receiving radiation therapy for another type of cancer.
  • Because radioactive materials such as radium and strontium accumulate in your bones, they can cause bone cancer.
  • A bone marrow transplant may increase your risk of developing osteosarcoma.


If your symptoms and physical exam findings point to the presence of bone cancer, your doctor will order additional tests.

Imaging tests such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computerized tomography (CT scans) can aid in the detection of bone abnormalities that are not visible to the naked eye. A bone scan is another specialized imaging tool that allows healthcare providers to see the metabolic activity of the bone. They can detect new growth or areas where bone matter has broken down by doing so.

Bone cancer is a very serious disease which comes with other diseases as well. Some complication that can occur are discussed further.


Complications from osteosarcoma and/or its treatment are possible. The list may appear to be lengthy.

Keep in mind that all of these complications are just possibilities, and you are unlikely to have them all. In fact, none may occur, and if they do, your healthcare professional’s close monitoring and recommendations should help you manage and overcome them.

Complications of osteosarcoma or its treatment may include:

  • Infection
  • Surgical bleeding
  • Problems following limb-ambulation surgery
  • Chemotherapy-related issues: Hair loss, mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased infections, easy bruising and bleeding, and tiredness are all symptoms of a thyroid condition.
  • Radiation therapy complications: Burns, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, poor bone growth, organ damage, and new cancers are all possibilities.
  • After-amputation Emotional and Physical Difficulties
  • Heart and lung issues
  • Growth and development issues
  • Learning difficulties
  • Sexual development changes
  • Fertility difficulties
  • Cancer has returned.
  • Stimulating growth of cancers at different sites.

Consult a doctor

If you think that all of symptoms are pointing towards bone cancer, you should immediately go to a diagnostic center and get screened for cancer. Mid City Hospital in Lahore has one of the latest screening technology for bone cancer. You can consult an oncologist in Lahore for the early diagnosis and treatment for bone cancer.

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