Bone Cancer taking Toll on Patients
Bone cancer is an extremely rare form of a tumour that mostly originates in the bones of the body such as the femur. Bone cancer treatment in India has marked a sea change in the field of oncology, thereby opening avenues to development of other effective treatments. Bone cancer occurs in both paediatric and adults, but a recent study has revealed that adolescents and youngsters are at an elevated risk of developing cancer when compared to middle-aged individuals. Bone cancer accounts for 2,000 cases per annum in the United States.
Types of Bone Cancer
The various types of bone cancer are as follows:
Osteosarcoma: An initial-stage deadly form of bone cancer that is common among men whose age lie between 10 and 25. Such type of cancers originates in the long bones such as the femur and the bones of the arms around the shoulders. Osteosarcoma is common among paediatrics.
Ewing’s sarcoma: The most malignant form of a bone tumour which originates in the middle of the femur and the bones of the arms, Ewing’s sarcoma is common among younger people whose age range between 4 to 15.
Chondrosarcoma: Of all the malignant bone cancer cases, 25 percent of them are Chondrosarcoma. They stem from the cartilage cells and are both benign and malignant. Such types of cancer affect the bones of the pelvis and hips.
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH): It is a form of soft-tissue malignancy common among adults who are 50 or above. MFH has been associated with affecting muscles, ligaments, tendons, and adipose tissue. The risk of the disease is twofold among men when compared to females.
Fibrosarcoma: A sporadic form of a bone tumour which affects age group 35-55. It impacts the soft tissues of the leg behind the knee. Males are at higher odds of being diagnosed with the disease when compared to females.
Chordoma: A sporadic form of tumor which is common among adults who are 30 years of age. This type of cancer that affects either the lower or upper end of the spinal column. The success rate of this surgery spans to about six years post-treatment.
Symptoms of Bone Cancer
Some of the prominent signs and symptoms of bone cancer are as follows:
- Swelling of the affected area
- Pain in the bone
- Fragile bones that escalate the risk of fracture
- Loss of Weight
- Lumps on the site of cancer
Some of the rare symptoms include fever, shivering, and night sweats.
Risk Factors for Bone Cancer
- Faulty genes or inherited syndromic genetic makeup – Li-Fraumeni syndrome and hereditary retinoblastoma are among a class of diseases which may up the risk of bone cancer among individuals.
- Paget’s disease of bone- This disease, which is mostly diagnosed among older adults has been identified to be a potential contributor to cancer.
- Exposure to radiations while undergoing cancer therapy- Cancer patients who are exposed to radiation therapy are more likely to develop bone cancer.
Diagnosis of bone cancer
Various diagnostic tests include:
- Bone scan
- Blood Tests
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
- Biopsy of the bone
Bone Cancer Treatment in India
Bone Cancer can be treated surgically or may involve surgery
There are various types of surgeries curated for treating bone cancer.
At times patients have to go under the knife so that the disease can be diagnosed the stage of bone cancer can be determined.
- Limb-sparing surgery- Involves removal of cancer and the adjacent healthy tissues.
- Amputation- The procedure is performed to remove a portion or the entire a limb or appendage.
- Lymph Node dissection- Involves dissection of Lymph Node so that the cancer can be removed.
- Reconstructive Surgery- Holds potential in reshaping or rebuilding a part of the body which was modified by prior surgery.
- Palliative Surgery- Relieves bone cancer pain and helps patients cope with chemotherapy.
The type of surgery one undergoes, depends on the size and site of a tumour, extent of cancer, age and general health of the patient. Usually, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is given alongside surgery.
For treating some of the advanced bone stage cancer, a patient is made to undergo therapy, and at times therapy is given alongside therapy.
- Intraoperative radiation therapy: Also known as internal radiation therapy, it involves conducting clinical trials so that the efficacy of radiation therapy which the patient underwent for Ewing’s tumors can be assessed.
- Myeloablative therapy: This therapy, which is given alongside stem cell therapy, holds potential in efficiently treating Ewing’s tumors. Myeloablative therapy, which is the queen of chemotherapy, demolishes all the cancerous pathogens.
- Targeted therapy: Involves targeting a particular gene, proteins, or the tissue that promote the growth of cancerous pathogens. Other than bone cancers, this therapy is also used for tackling sarcoma. It is now being recognised as insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) inhibitors. Further research has been warranted in understanding this duo mechanism and how beneficial it is.
Best Oncologist and Hospitals for Bone Cancer
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram- Dr Vinod Raina
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram – Dr Rahul Bhargava
- Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket – Dr Rahul Naithani
- BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Amit Agarwal
- BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Dharma Choudhary
What is the cost of bone cancer treatment in India?
Bone cancer treatment is comparatively availed at a lower cost in India. The cost of bone amputation (wide local excision) with reconstruction amounts to approximately USD 6,300, and Limb-sparing surgery cost starts from USD 10,000. Radiation therapy costs near about USD 5000, and the cost of chemotherapy per cycle is USD 500. Colonoscopy’s cost is approximately USD 500.
However, the type of treatment one undergoes depends on the extent, type and grade of bone cancer. The cost may vary and may increase if lymph node dissection is performed along with bone amputation or limb-sparing surgery.
Indian health management is even better, and more organised as various healthcare platforms have come up who guarantee both Indian and international patients affordable and top-notch treatment in India. One such platform is MedMonks, which has tie-ups with prestigious Indian hospitals and highly-skilled surgeons. They promise tertiary healthcare services, 24*7 counselling, provide medical treatment assistance, help patients getting a medical visa and chalk out the most suitable doctor for respective diseases. Post your query anytime, and they will revert with genuine medical assistance.