Most bone tumors are benign lesions, and bone cancer usually occurs due to metastasis from other cancers, such as breast, lung, and prostate.
The bone tumors are rare, and most What is bone cancer and its types? Commonly, in the case of benign lesions. Lesions are classified according to the tissue that predominates in its composition and benign or malignant nature. Both benign and malignant tumors can grow and compress healthy bone tissue and replace it with defective tissue. Still, benign tumors do not spread and are not usually life-threatening.
If the tumor is malignant, it is necessary to distinguish between cancer that has originated in the bone ( primary bone cancer ) and osteosarcoma, which is the disease that has caused the death of Xana – Luis Enrique’s little daughter -, and one that started in another part of the body and later spreads to the bone ( secondary bone cancer ). The second is more frequent, which is the most common metastasis of other cancers such as breast, lung, and prostate.
The benign bone tumor is osteochondroma, usually diagnosed in childhood, although it may go unnoticed until adulthood. It generally stops growing when the patient’s development ends, so if it does not produce symptoms (which would be due to compression of neighboring structures), it does not require treatment. If, on the other hand, it causes symptoms, it is treated by resection once the growth has finished. If it continues to grow in adulthood, the possibility that it has become malignant should be considered.
Types and characteristics of bone cancer
Among the existing types of bone cancer, we find osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and metastasis. Let’s see them in more detail:
The common type of bone cancer is osteosarcoma, which originates from osteoblasts, the bone cells that make new bone.
- Age: it appears before the second decade of life and mainly affects adolescents (it accounts for around 3% of pediatric cancers).
- Clinic: the most frequent symptoms are pain, which is accentuated with movement, and an increase in the size of a part of the bone, which can interfere with the function of the closest joint (almost always the knee). Also, the bone, being weakened by the tumor’s action, is more susceptible to fracture.
- Evolution: it is an aggressive tumor and can metastasize, mainly to the lung.
- Prognosis: in adults, it has a worse prognosis than in children and young people. It is also worse if it develops in bones that have received radiation therapy or after a previous bone disorder.
Chondrosarcoma is a type of bone cancer, forms in cartilage-producing cells. In most cases, these are primary tumors, but they can also be due to previous benign lesions that have become malignant.
- Age: it occurs between the fifth and seventh decade of life, and it is scarce for it to affect those under 20 years of age.
- Locations: pelvis, proximal femur, and proximal humerus.
- Clinical: they usually cause local pain, which worsens at night.
- Evolution: slow growth but with a great tendency to recur.