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Bone Cancer: Definition, Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment


Bone cancer is an uncommon cancer that develops in the bones, most commonly in the long bones that make up arms and legs.

Bone Cancer
Bone Cancer

There are several types of bone cancer such as Osteosarcoma and Chondrosarcoma. Some bone cancers occur mostly in children while others are found more commonly in adults.

As such there’re no specific causes behind the development of bone cancer. What we know is that cells begin to behave abnormally and grow uncontrollably – over time, they form a mass or Tumour that can invade the surrounding structures as well as spread to other parts / organs of the body.


Early stage bone cancer often does not cause any symptoms. It’s only through regular screening / tests that it can be found and treated before it grows or spreads within in the body. Here’re symptoms that are associated with bone cancer.

Pain or tenderness in the area of the tumour

Swelling around the affected area of bone

Reduced movement

Broken boneFatigue and unintended weight loss

Fatigue and unintended weight loss

You should see your doctor immediately if you experience all or any of these symptoms that worry you.

Types of bone cancer

Osteosarcoma – the commonest type of bone cancer, Osteosarcoma usually develops around the knee, in the thigh bone, in the shin bone, and in the upper arm.

Ewing′s sarcoma – more common in children and young adults, Ewing’s sarcoma primarily grows in the pelvis, thigh bone and shin bone.

Chondrosarcoma – it begins in the cartilage cells, and is more common in middle aged people. It usually grows in the upper arm (humerus) or thigh bone (femur) – but like all other bone cancers it can develop in other bones as well including ribs and pelvis.

Spindle cell sarcoma – this type of bone cancer is rare and normally occurs in people over 40 years of age.

Chordoma – extremely rare bone cancer type, Chordoma grows in either spine or neck region.

Angiosarcoma – can develop in more than one bone at the same time or at many places in the same bone. But Angiosarcoma is quite a rare cancer of bones.

Tests and Diagnosis

Your doctor may ask to undergo one or more imaging tests to determine whether you’ve got bone cancer. Here’re the imaging tests that you might have to undergo:

Bone scan

Computerized tomography (CT)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Positron emission tomography (PET)


You should also be ready for a biopsy. It’s a simple procedure in which a small portion of your tissue is taken out for a lab test. The test enables the doctor to figure out whether you’ve got cancerous cells, and if so, what’s the extent of cancer.


You might need just one type of treatment or a combination of treatments. The treatment options would ideally depend on your cancer type, the extent of cancer, your general well-being, and preferences. Some bone cancers can be treated with just a surgery , while other cancers might require a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.

Surgery – there have been dramatic improvements in the surgical treatments for bone cancer. Like earlier times, doctors do not have to amputate the limb to save the patient. Now, they just remove the affected part of the bone and replace it with another bone from your body (bone graft) or an artificial substitute.

Chemotherapy – herein doctors use drugs or chemicals to kill the cancerous cells in your body. Chemotherapy is usually given through a vein.

Radiation – radiation oncologists use powerful x-rays to target and destroy the cancerous cells in your bone. You lie on a table. And a device revolves around you and delivers the radiation to the pre-decided points on your body.

Your doctor may use radiation therapy when surgery isn’t a viable option to treat your bone cancer. Or, he or she can opt for radiation even after putting you through a surgery to kill any cancer cells that might have left behind.

Not all hospitals in Delhi NCR might have the infrastructure and the expertise to diagnose and treat bone cancer. At DHRC, we’re all prepared and have world-class facilities and some of the best oncologists and support teams to diagnose and treat bone cancers.

Read more on bone cancer here. If you are looking for the best bone cancer treatment in India, just fill out the simple form on your right and we’ll get back to you in no time.

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