Many people are diagnosed with bone cancer every year and almost half of them die because of it because of the late detection. Bone cancer originates from the cells that make up the interior part of the bones. Bone cancer is classified into two types- primary and secondary.
Primary bone cancer starts from cells in the hard bone tissue. It is a rare type of cancer and accounts for only two in every 1,000 cases of cancers diagnosed. This type of cancer is more common in men than in women.
Secondary bone cancer is a metastatic cancer, meaning – a cancer which started in another part of the body and spreads to the bone. This is more common form of cancer. Cancers of breast, prostate, lung, kidney, and thyroid can spread to the bones and initiate a cancer there. Treatment of this cancer is different from primary cancer.
Here are some symptoms which can possibly indicate bone marrow cancer –
- Bone pain
Intense pain is in bones or joints is one of the major symptoms of bone cancer. This pain can be a result of cancer tumour- from tumour pressing against nearby nerve or organ or as a result of radiation. This pain usually intensifies during night. However, bone pain is also symptom of arthritis or injury.
- Easy bone fractures
The cancer affects the bone cells badly and makes them brittle. So if a bone gets fractured with a minor accident or pressure. E.g. Putting pressure or banging against the door slightly can result in fracture. This is a symptom of bone cancer.
- Weight loss
Weight loss that cannot be attributed to diet, exercise or any particular treatment can be a symptom of cancer. Here, the body loses its capacity to eliminate wastes and can also result in constipation.
This symptom is common in primary bone cancer where the cancer develops inside the bone. It causes inflammation and swelling in the area where the tumour is present. It also makes skin very tender and sensitive.
Though this is a generalized symptom and can be associated with many other disorders; it is also a result of cancer. If the tiredness and fatigue doesn’t go with enough rest and proper diet, it can be a symptom of cancer.
Anemia occurs because the body produces more white blood cells to fight the disease and thus, production of healthy red blood cells decreases. It is one of the symptom of bone cancer.
- Appetite loss
As the cancer grows inside the body, the patient loses his energy and willingness to do physical work as well as physical and mental energy. The patient loses his desire to eat as the food no longer seems appetizing. The cancerous cells also absorb nutrients from the food and healthy cells get very little.
- Problem in sleeping
As the main symptom is pain in the bones, the person affected with bone cancer finds it extremely difficult sleeping or resting. Also, pain increases more during night and thus makes it hard for a person to have a sound sleep.
- Decreased immunity
To fight any disease, body produces extra white blood cells and it results in frequent infections and common diseases like cold, cough, flu, etc.
Our genes have 30% influences on our bone health. Along with our genes, bone health depends on many other factors such as age, diet, and proper exercise. Poor sunlight exposure, overuse of sun blocks, low calcium intake are some causes for lack of Vitamin D. Screening using genetic tests can help you to calculate your risk factors and take necessary measures.