16 May 2022, Monday
What Are The Different Types Of Bone Tumors?
A tumour mainly refers to a solid mass of tissue. It generally forms when abnormal cells group together. Tumours can affect several parts or organs of our body, such as skin, bones, brain, etc.
All tumours are not classified as cancer. They are called benign tumours. Still, they need to be treated. Cancerous or malignant tumours can be dangerous and life-threatening as well.
What is a Bone Tumor?
Bone tumours generally develop when the cells divide uncontrollably and abnormally, forming a lump of tissue. Tumours can either be malignant or benign. Moreover, the bone tumour is comparatively uncommon, covering only 0.5% of the global cancer incidents among the other types of cancers.
Benign tumours are generally considered non-cancerous tumours. But it is still an abnormal tissue that needs treatment. If it is left untreated, it can grow and affect your body in such a bad way that you will face health issues.
On the other hand, malignant tumours are cancerous and should get the appropriate treatment. If it is left untreated, the malignant bone tumour can spread all over your body and be fatal.
Types of Bone Tumor
First, we will discuss the types of benign tumours. The most common types of benign tumours are:
It is the most common type of benign bone tumour. This type of bone tumour mainly develops in teenagers and adolescents. It mainly forms near the growing ends of long bones like leg or arm bones. This type of tumour is made of cartilage and bones.
2. Non-ossifying fibroma unicameral
It is mainly a simple solitary bone cyst found in the legs of adolescents and children.
3. Giant Cells tumours
This type of tumour grows in adults and can grow aggressively. It is a very rare tumour that is generally found on the rounded end of the Bone and not in the growth plate.
It is a cyst that grows inside the bone marrow. It generally occurs in the hands and the long bones of the thigh and arms.
5. Fibrous Dysplasia
It is also a common bone tumour that generally occurs as a single bone tumour or several bone tumours. This doesn’t need surgery until the Bone becomes weak by its size.
6. Aneurysmal Bone cyst
It can mainly grow very large. It is an abnormality that occurs in the blood vessels. It begins in the bone marrow. So, it can be dangerous if it is left untreated, as it affects the growth plate.
Now we will discuss the types of malignant bone tumours. The three most common types of cancerous tumours are Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, and the Ewing Sarcoma family of tumours. However, other types are there as well.
It is considered to be the second most common type of bone cancer. It is mainly found in adolescents and children. It tends to grow rapidly and spread all over the body. It mainly occurs in the shoulder, knee, and hip areas.
It is mainly found in adults and older people. It mainly develops in the shoulder, hip, and pelvis.
9. Ewing Sarcoma family of tumours
This type of cancer mainly shows up in the areas of the leg, ribs, pelvis, backbones, upper arms, and skull. It begins where the bone marrow is produced. Then, it can develop in soft tissues like muscle, fat, and blood vessels.
Other types of malignant bone tumours include secondary bone cancer and multiple myeloma.
10. Secondary Bone Tumor
It means cancer started somewhere else but has reached the bones now. This generally affects adults.
11. Multiple Myeloma
It is a cancer that starts as a tumour in the bone marrow. It commonly affects adults.
What are the causes of Bone Tumors?
The main reason for bone tumours is still unknown. The possible causes of bone tumours are radiation treatment, genetics, and injuries to bones. Bone tumours can occur when other parts of the body are growing fast. Osteosarcoma can be seen in people who have repaired their bone fractures with metal implants.
Symptoms of Bone Tumor
- Pain in the bones can be the first symptom of a bone tumour. At first, the pain starts occasionally, but then it sometimes becomes constant and severe. It will become so severe that it will wake you up at night.
- Sometimes, there can be swelling at the tumour site, which causes severe pain.
- Sometimes, you can notice some new tissue mass growing in your body parts instead of having pain. Besides that, tumours can cause fever, night sweats, or both.
- But if we talk about benign tumours. You might not experience any symptoms. It is only can be detected through scanning and medical testing.
- Osteosarcoma, a type of benign bone tumour, doesn’t need any treatment until it interferes with your daily activities.
Diagnosing a Bone Tumor
Infections, fractures, and other conditions don’t always resemble bone tumours. Your doctor will order you to do various tests to get confirmation. At first, he will perform a physical examination.
He will check the tenderness of the bones and will test the range of motion. Once this is done, he might ask you about your family’s medical history & order you to conduct some tests, such as:
1. Urine and Blood test
An Alkaline Phosphatase test is needed when it comes to diagnosing bone tumours. When your bone tissues are actively forming cells, the enzymes in large quantities will show up in your blood. This could mean that a tumour is growing, producing abnormal bone tissues.
2. Imaging tests
An x-ray is necessary to determine the size and the location of the tumour. Depending on the results of the x-ray, other tests might be necessary, such as an MRI scan, CT scan, PET scan, and arteriogram tests.
Your doctor can do a biopsy test as well. They will check if it has turned into cancer or not by doing either a needle biopsy or incisional biopsy.
Recovery from Bone Tumor Treatment
Your doctor will tell you to stay in touch during your recovery period. He will do blood tests and x-rays to determine whether the tumour is gone. If it is gone, then it won’t recur. It will help if you perform these tests every month.
Your recovery will depend on how big your tumour was, what type of bone tumour you had, and its location. Also, many people join cancer support groups if they have recovered from malignant tumours.
When to See Your Doctor
If you face any symptoms mentioned above, you can consult a cancer specialist. He will suggest some tests to know if you have any bone tumours.
1. Which bones can be affected by cancer?
Bone cancer mainly begins with any bone in our body. It mainly affected the long bones in our arms and legs. Besides that, it also affects the pelvis area’s Bone.
2. What is the chance of recovery?
You can be fully treated if your treatment has started early. Besides this, the recovery depends on various things, such as the size of the tumour, how much it has spread on your body, and whether it’s a benign or malignant tumour.
3. Can Bone Tumors be removed?
Yes, generally, it can get removed by surgery. Sometimes radiation therapy is needed along with the surgery. Surgeons mainly take out the tumour and a margin of healthy tissues around the tumour.
When we say bone cancer, it refers to the first group of cancers mentioned above, called ‘primary bone cancer’. It belongs to a family of cancers called ‘Sarcoma’.
‘Grade’ of the tumor tells us how aggressive the disease is; especially about its tendency to metastasize (spread to other regions of the body).
Biopsy is a minor surgical procedure in which a small piece of the tumor tissue is sampled and sent for evaluation to a pathologist, who examines it under a microscope to establish its exact histological identity/name (diagnosis).
‘‘Core Needle Biopsy’ in skilled hands, offers significant advantages over ‘Open Biopsy’ and therefore, it is the preferred method for obtaining tumor tissue samples.
‘Grade’ of the tumor is a histological calculation of the aggressiveness of a malignant tumor (more specifically, its ability to metastasize, i.e. the ability to spread to other regions of the body).
Cancer is a general term used for a group of disorders, which manifest in most cases as an abnormal mass/lump/swelling formed due to abnormal cells that multiply uncontrollably, and which have the potential to invade other tissues, both local and distant.
Dr. Chetan Anchan
MS - Orthopaedics, Diploma in Orthopaedics,
FCPS - Mid. & Gynae, MBBS
About Author - Dr. Chetan Anchan is an expert and well known orthopaedic surgeon and oncologist from Mumbai. He has a vast experience in treating all types of Malignant and Benign, Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors, and Skeletal Metastases.
To book an appointment, call: +91 – 93244 27302
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