Bone cancer, also known as osteosarcoma, is not a common type of cancer in Singapore.
However, it is a much more dangerous type of cancer. In 2013, the National Cancer Centre Singapore recorded approximately 60 cases of sarcoma.
It is dangerous because the malignant tumours can spread fast to other organs from where they initially developed. One of the first organs usually affected are the lungs.
Some facts about bone cancer, as well as its treatment procedures, are discussed below.
Experts observe, however, that bone cancer is likely to occur in people who have had a previous cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy.
Patients with previous multiple benign tumours are also more likely to have one or more of these benign tumours turning malignant or cancerous.
It is best to report to your oncologist about your past medical history so that he can consider this in studying your signs and symptoms.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer which generally occurs in individuals between 10 to 30 years old. Osteosarcoma tumours usually develop in the bones of arms, legs and pelvis.
Have these tumours examined as soon as your primary healthcare provider referred you to an oncologist in Singapore.
Your oncologist may also diagnose two other types of sarcomas, namely, Chondrosarcoma, the cancer of cartilage cells, and Erwing’s Sarcoma, the cancer in the long bones of the legs and arms.
Erwing’s Sarcoma affects children and adolescents and rarely occurs in individuals over 30 years old.
Treatment has vastly improved in the last decade; giving hope to patients for permanent cure. But this is only if the osteosarcoma has not yet metastasized to other parts of your bone or to other organs in your body.
Your oncologist may conduct functional reconstruction which allows up to 90% of patients to be treated without amputation.
A metastatic bone cancer results from cancer from other organs, like the breast, colon, liver, or lungs, which has spread to the bones.
Seeing your oncologist for metastatic bone cancer will help you seek protection from suffering bone fractures so you can still move about without pain and return to your normal activity for an extended period of time.
Cure for metastatic bone cancer is unlikely for most individuals, according to ClevelandClinic.org
Report these signs and symptoms to your oncologist as soon as you observe them:
Depending on your bone cancer stage, your cancer care team may include your oncologist, a surgeon, pathologist, radiologist, nurse and social worker. Sometimes, a physical therapist and plastic surgeon may also be involved. Your oncologist usually heads your cancer care team.
Your oncologist may recommend the following treatment options:
Your oncologist may use a combination treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The objective of the treatment is to remove the cancer cells, protect the bones, and prevent recurrence of the cancer cells.
Because bone cancer has no known risk factor in most people, there are no bone cancer screening methods recommended for the general public. Patients with particular genetic disease affecting the bones may opt to have a bone cancer screening.
The oncologist will screen patients for bone cancer using X-rays. These X-rays will take images of the bone and confirm the presence of tumour.
In cases whereby the oncologist confirms the presence of tumours in the bone, a biopsy may be ordered to determine the malignancy of the tumour.
Early detection of bone cancer can lead to administering treatment early, and to being cured.
See our oncologist in Singapore at The Harley Street Heart & Cancer Centre for cancer treatment and care today.