What is bone cancer?

Most if not all of us know what cancer is but some of us may not know what bone cancer is. I happen to be one of those people. I honestly never knew there was such a thing as bone cancer until earlier last week, when my friend was diagnosed with it. So this past weekend I decided to look it up through various medical books from my uncle and websites.

In a nutshell, bone cancer is: “a bone tumor refers to a neoplastic growth of tissue in bone.” I found that info on Wikipedia but I don’t use wiki so for this blog and my own knowledge, I wanted to look up a more concrete answer.

So first, here’s what we know, we know that our body has 206 bones. These bones serve many different functions. First, our bones provide structure to our body and help provide its shape. Muscles attach to the bones and allow us to move. Without the bones, our body would be an unstructured pile of soft tissues and we would be unable to stand, walk, or move. Second, the bones help to protect the more fragile organs of the body. For example, the bones of the skull protect the brain, the vertebrae of the spine protect the spinal cord, and the ribs protect the heart and lungs. Third, the bones contain something called marrow, which produces and stores new blood cells; I could go on and on about what bones do but you get the idea.

Here’s what we know about cancer, our body is made up of many small structures called cells. There are many different types of cells that grow to form the different parts of your body. During normal growth and development, these cells continuously grow, divide, and make new cells. This process continues throughout life even after you are no longer growing. The cells continue to divide and make new cells to replace old and damaged cells. In a healthy person, the body is able to control the growth and division of cells according to the needs of the body. Cancer is when this normal control of cells is lost and the cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner. The cells also become abnormal and have altered functions in patients with cancer. The cancer cells can become very destructive to the surrounding cells and can invade normal organs and tissues, disrupting their function. There are many different type of cancer. The cancer is usually named based on the type of cell from which the cancer initially grows. For example, lung cancer is caused by uncontrolled cells that form the lungs and breast cancer by cells that form the breast. Again, I could go way more into detail but I don’t want to bore you or myself for that matter.

So, I already knew what bones and cancer were but I didn’t know that cancer could develop in the bone itself.

Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer starts in the bone; the cancer initially formed in the cells of the bone, while secondary cancer starts elsewhere in the body and spread to the bone. Examples of primary bone cancer include big fancy words like steosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and chondrosarcoma.

But basically, bone cancer is caused by a problem with the cells that make bone. Bone tumors occur most commonly in children and are less common in older adults. Cancer involving the bone in older adults is most commonly the result of a spread from another tumor. According to the National Cancer Institute, USA, it is estimated that by the end of the year there will have been 2,000 new cases and somewhere around 1,000 deaths from cancer of the bones and joints, making this kind of cancer a fairly rare one. Your Thoughts?

For information on how this this cancer is diagnosed, click on this video from “empowher” . 

More videos about the cancer are available on their YouTube page. 


One thought on “What is bone cancer?

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