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Uterine cancer, also known as endometrial cancer, occurs mostly to middle aged women. The uterus of a woman is a muscular organ. The cancer can affect any part of the uterus and is more common in women having obesity, diabetes and hypertension. In most cases, the cancer starts in the endometrium, hence called endometrial cancer. Uterine cancer can be cured using any of the following methods:
1. Surgical removal of the uterus along with ovaries, lymph nodes and fallopian tubes
2. Radiation therapy
Although uterine cancer is curable, it's always a better option to prevent it. You cannot control all the causes for uterine cancer like those related to heredity. But other than that, here are a few ways in which you can prevent suffering from uterine cancer:
1. Control body weight: Keep your body weight in control. Obesity can pose a huge risk of getting affected with uterine cancer. The fat in the body produces estrogen, which promotes the growth of uterine lining that is the Endometrium and may lead to Endometrium cancer.
2. Breast feed: If you are lactating, then the risk of the cancer decreases, as breast feeding decreases ovulation as well as estrogen activities.
3. Treat abnormal bleeding: If you are suffering from any type of abnormal bleeding, be that heavy periods, bleeding even after you reached menopause or if you start bleeding between two period cycles, consult your doctor immediately. Abnormal bleeding is the symptom of endometrial hyperplasia, which might eventually turn cancerous.
4. Exercise: As already said earlier, keep your weight under control to avoid uterine cancer. Exercise to avoid increase in weight leading to obesity. It also reduces the estrogen level in your body.
5. Healthy food: Healthy food is the key to avoid any disease, be that a common cold or uterine cancer. Eat a healthy and balanced diet everyday to be fit and bouncing.
6. Birth control pills: It is believed that the intake of birth control pills helps to keep uterine cancer at bay.
So eat healthy, exercise and adopt healthy habits. Then nothing can stop you from enjoying life to the fullest. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
This is my Mri report impression. Disc degeneration and disc bulge is seen at L5/S 1 level indenting the thecal Sac without any nerve root compression. Annulus tear is noted. 2 this r my x ray report impression. Pid L5. S 1.
Brain surgery involves several medical procedures, which incorporate fixing issues with the brain, including changes in the tissues of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid and brain blood flow. Brain surgery is quite a complicated method of surgery and the type of surgery to be conducted depends on the underlying conditions.
Reasons for Brain Surgery:
Brain surgery is performed for the correction of physical brain abnormalities. These abnormalities could occur because of diseases, birth defects and injuries. A brain surgery is required when the following conditions arise in the brain:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Blood clots in the brain
- When the protective tissue or dura is damaged
- Due to nerve damage
- Parkinson's disease
- Any kind of pressure after an injury
- Skull fractures
- In case of stroke and tumors
A surgery may not be required for all the above mentioned conditions, but in case of many, a brain surgery is very important as the conditions may worsen health problems.
Types of brain surgeries:
- Craniotomy: During this open brain surgery, an incision is made in the scalp, and a hole is created in the skull, near the area, which is being treated. After this process is complete, the hole or bone flap is secured in its place using plates or wires.
- Biopsy: This form of brain surgery helps in the removal of a small amount of brain tissues or tumors. After removal, the tissues or tumors are examined under a microscope. The creation of a small incision and a hole in the skull is indicated as a part of this process.
- Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery: This form of brain surgery enables the removal or lesions and tumors via the nose and sinuses. Private parts of the brain can be accessed without creating an incision. An endoscope is utilized in the process which is used to examine tumors all across the brain.
- Minimally Invasive neuroendoscopy: This process is similar to the minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery. This method also involves the use of an endoscope for removal of brain tumors. Small, dime sized holes may be made in the skull to access some brain parts.
Brain surgeries may be associated with several risks. They may be:
- Allergic reactions to anesthesia
- Blood clot formations
- Swelling of the brain
- A state of coma
- Impairment in speech, coordination and vision.
- Problems in memory
- Strokes and seizures
- Infections in the brain
A brain surgery is a serious and very complex surgery. There are different kinds of brain surgeries, which are conducted depending on the condition and severity of the disease.
I have noticed that the space between c5 and c6 of my spine have increased and as a result my neck and shoulder are very painful. I have also little tmj. What will I do now? Please Please help me.
It is very common for women to have heavy and painful periods or have a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. Although, it may not sound very alarming these could be the symptoms of uterine fibroids. These are the most common types of benign tumours found in women. The fibroids are basically some tissues and muscle cells that grow within the uterus, outside the uterus, or along the wall of the uterus. The fibroids are usually benign and asymptomatic and do not require any treatment unless they cause problems.
Know the causes
Though the exact cause of fibroid formation is not known, it is believed that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone have a role to play in their formation. Fibroids are formed only when a woman is producing these hormones and they are not seen in women in non-reproductive age i.e. before starting of menses or after stoppage of menses (menopause). If fibroids are persisting even after menopause or especially if increasing in size then it is an alarming sign. Such a fibroid needs to be taken care of immediately.
What are the symptoms?
Fibroids often remain quiet for long periods of time. They cause nonspecific symptoms in the pelvis and abdomen including:
- Fullness in the abdomen
- Low back pain
- Irregular menstruation
- Cramping with menstruation
- Painful sex
- Increased urgency to urinate
- Anemia, leading to tiredness and weakness
- Infertility Diagnosing the fibroids
When these symptoms are recurrent, it is good to confirm the diagnosis. This can happen with a pelvic exam followed by ultrasound scanning to confirm the size and location of the fibroids. A blood test also may be done to confirm anemia, which is common due to heavy periods.
Management of fibroids can range from doing nothing to periodic monitoring to surgical removal.
- If pain and heavy bleeding are the only symptoms, then pain killers like ibuprofen should suffice for symptomatic relief. Anemia, if severe, may require iron supplementation.
- Embolization is an option which shrinks the fibroid, at the same time preserving the uterus. The blood flow to the fibroid is cut off, thereby preventing its further growth. It takes about 1 to 3 hours and requires some bed rest after the procedure. There could be some pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding, which will gradually subside. The fibroids may grow back, but the benefits of keeping the uterus are definitely there. This is suitable in case of single fibroid with specific blood supply.
- The next surgical option is myomectomy, where the portion of the uterus which contains the fibroid alone is removed. This is done in women who still wish to get pregnant and in women who would like to retain the uterus. This can also be achieved laparoscopically( key hole surgery). In such cases, fibroids are cut into small pieces and then removed from the body. This procedure should be done by a doctor specialised in advanced gynecological endoscopy as all this cutting should be done in a bag to avoid any spillage of cells inside the abdominal cavity. This procedure is known as Laparoscopic Myomectomy with In-bag Moecellation.
- In women who have crossed their pregnancy phase, hysterectomy or complete removal of the uterus is advised. In these women, the bleeding and pain may not have subsided even after years of treatment with hormones. The growing fibroids could be pressing on the adjacent organs, causing pressure. This is the only definitive treatment and should be done in women have completed their family and don’t desire to be pregnant.
- Myomectomy and hysterectomy may be done laparoscopically or with an open method depending on the overall health, the size and location of the fibroids in the uterus.
Collectively grouped under the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors, Ewing's sarcoma is the second most common form of bone cancer, which is commonly seen in children and adolescents. Very rarely is it experienced in adults above the age of 30.
Typically forming in the bones of the chest, pelvis, head, back or trunk and in the long bones of the arms and legs, Ewing's sarcoma is believed to originate in certain kinds of primitive cells. When it begins to affect similar kind of cells found outside the bone, it is usually called an extraosseous Ewing's sarcoma.
1. Similar to all types of Ewing tumors, Ewing's sarcoma is generally caused by an alteration in a certain cell compelling a gene named EWS found on chromosome no. 22 to move over to a DNA section on any one of the surrounding chromosomes resulting in the activation of the EWS gene.
2. While it is not a hereditary condition, it usually occurs after childbirth, but no substantial evidence has been found as to why it happens so.
Symptoms of Ewing's sarcoma may include:
1. Swelling and pain especially in the arms, legs, back, chest or pelvis
2. Swelling accompanied by joint immobility
3. A bone breaks having no apparent cause
4. Swelling which may or may not be accompanied by a warm, tingling sensation
5. Fever resulting from unknown causes
6. Lumps or bumps which do not subside over time
7. Abnormal weight loss
8. High levels of fatigue
9. Tumors which have spread over to the lungs may cause shortness of breath
10.Tumors spread over to the spine may cause weakness or even paralysis.
Because the symptoms of Ewing's sarcoma can hardly be distinguished from symptoms caused by other infections or injuries, an early diagnosis is absolutely necessary for a successive treatment. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist and ask a free question.
Can disc stenosis be cured permanently? And can the compressed disc become as it was earlier with Pranayam?
Level 2 scan at 18 weeks 5 days showed decreased blood flow in right artery. Other artery was normal. Everything else was normal. Is it a concern.
I am a student. Usually I used to sit more than 8 hours a day in chair. Now a days I am feeling very much pain on regions of backbone and neck. Is this a chance of disk failure?
Can Physiotherapy Cure cervical disc prolapse and L5 S1 Disc bulge.I am suffering from Neck pain for the Past 6 years
At L4-L5diffuse disc bulge with right para central protrusion causing severe canal stenosis, compression over the allows sac, nerve root of audacity equine, bilateral traversing nerve roots in lateral recess marked on right side. AtL5-S1 a focal posterior central disc bulge with tear, mild to moderate canal stenosis, compression over the alloy sac, left traversing S1 nerve root in lateral recess. Neural foramina on either side however exiting nerve root look free in neural foramen. Hip n screening within normal limits. This is the report of MRI. please suggest.
Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast(s) start to grow out of control. It is understood as being the most common cancer, seen predominantly in females, globally. It is reasonably treatable and often curable.
1. Type: Adenocarcinomas constitute more than 95% of breast cancers with infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) being the most common form of invasive breast cancer.
Frequently occurring breast cancers present as one of the following types mainly
1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): Is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer and is confined to the milk ducts of the breast. There is no invasion in the basement membrane. Pure DCIS metastasizes rarely. Non comedo cribrioform carcinoma is the most common DCIS found which, when compared to the comedo type, is mostly non-aggressive.
2. Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): Represents majority (about 3/4th) of the breast cancers, and is known to metastasize commonly to bones, lungs and liver.
3. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): Develops in multiple lobules of the breast (bilaterally). LCIS is less commonly seen, compared to DCIS.
4. Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC): Represent about a tenth of all breast cancers and tends to metastasize to other regions of the body.
Less commonly occurring breast cancers such as
5. Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Is relatively uncommon and are caused probably owing to viral infections. The breast is warm, red and swollen.
6. Paget’s disease of the nipple: Is a rare form of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts and spreads to the nipple and areola.
7. Medullary Carcinoma
8. Mutinous Carcinoma
9. Tubular Carcinoma
10. Phylloides tumor etc all.
2. Gender: Affects the female populace predominantly. However, a small percentage of breast cancer is attributable to the male populace as well.
3. Etiology: No definite cause is known. However, diet, lifestyle, environment, hormonal/ reproductive factors, personal or family history of breast cancer especially in first degree relatives and also any benign breast disease history etc all are known to increase the risk of breast cancers. Specifically, excessive fatty diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, benign breast disease, heredity/ inheritance of mutated breast cancer genes 1 (BRCA1) and 2 (BRCA2), smoking, alcohol intake, infertility, estrogen therapy/ hormone replacement therapy (long term) in post menopausal women, delayed age at first pregnancy, nulliparity (not having child), early menstruation, delayed onset of menopause, lactating mothers not breast feeding, exposure to ionizing radiation, sedentary lifestyle, depression, exposure to MMTV virus etc all can potentially increase the risk for breast cancer.
4. Features: Signs & symptoms, of breast cancer, manifest majorly in the following ways
Lump/ nodule in the breast that gets attached to the skin of the breast over time. The lump / nodule could be hard and painless with irregular edges or it could also be soft, rounded, tender and painful.
Enlarged lymph nodes in the axilla which are palpable.
Swelling of whole or a part of a breast. This is even if there is no distinct lump felt.
Retraction or thickening of the nipple(s).
Pain in the breast or nipple.
Discharge from nipple other than breast milk.
Irritation/ scaliness of skin over the breast.
Redness of nipples
Rarely, red, swollen and tender breast.
5. Screening: Is generally recommended for asymptomatic populations goal of which, as usual, is to be able to detect & diagnose breast cancer at an early stage which is potentially curable. It is mostly radiologic with mammography/ USG being instrumental in raising suspicions for further diagnostics (i.e. biopsy) that help detect breast cancer, if any, early.
6. Diagnosis: A self-examination/ clinical exam of the breast(s)/ axilla that reveals a palpable mass prompts the following diagnostics. Abnormal blood test results may be indicative of malignancy, but a follow up imaging/ biopsy is always the gold standard for accurate diagnosis.
- Blood: ER/ PR/ HER2/neu, uPA, PAI-1, CA15-3, CA27.29 etc all tumor markers are helpful.
- Imaging: Mammography/ USG Scan usually, as relevant. Again, CT Scan of abdomen & pelvis and chest, PET CT scan, bone scan etc all help detect metastasis, if any, for cancers in stage III & above.
- Biopsy: either excisional, incisional, fine needle aspiration (FNA) or core biopsy technique, as contextually appropriate, is frequently employed and a histopathological examination (HPE) thereof clinches the diagnosis and the nature of the disease.
7. Treatment: Conventional treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy/ chemotherapy as deems appropriate. Simultaneously, an adjunctive or integrative naturopathic treatment with suitable complementary & alternative medicines (CAM) too can help improve clinical outcomes and facilitate recovery as would be feasible contextually.
8. Prognosis: Preventive measures, earlier diagnosis and right early treatment is key for an effective therapeutic management & better prognosis. Like most other cancers, the chances of cure for an early stage breast cancer are more. The cure/ recovery chances are influenced by the type, grade, stage of cancer, recurrence and the patient’s general health & vitality etc all. Above-mentioned apart, age, menopause status, lymph node status, ER/ PR/ HER-2/ neu status, size & extent of breast cancer etc all also influence the treatment outlook in breast cancer. The five year survival rate is strongly correlated with the stage of breast cancer.
9. Prevention: Rightly said, prevention is always a better choice. Although genetic risks are difficult to modify, still an increased focus on protective factors and avoidance of the risk factors can be of help. An adherence to a Mediterranean diet, maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle with due emphasis on regular exercising (for at least 30 minutes daily), de-stressing and relaxation is highly recommended for reducing the risks of breast cancer. A healthy eating plate comprises essentially a low fat diet, fibre rich foods including whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables cooked using healthy vegetable oils, fresh fruits of all colours as seasonally available and healthy proteins/ fats including fresh fish, poultry, beans, nuts etc all. It is advisable to limit milk/ dairy, preferably of low fat content, to 1 to 2 servings max daily. Although alcohol is optional and is not for everyone, the consumption of the same, if any, has to be strictly in moderation, and is best avoided. Smoking is to be avoided as well. Again, red meat, butter, refined grains, sweets, sugary drinks including carbonated beverages and other high calorie foods etc all, if any, are to be taken sparingly or are best avoided too. Limiting dosage/ duration of hormone therapy, if any, especially to counteract post menopausal symptoms and also avoiding exposure to radiation and environmental pollution can help reduce the risks of breast cancer. Apart from the above-mentioned, for high risk cases, a prophylactic oophorectomy, prophylactic radical mastectomy, long term hormone therapy etc all can help reduce the chances/ risks of developing breast cancer significantly. Breastfeeding is known to confer protection against breast cancer risk too.
I am a male aged 52 yrs. I have slip disc problem because of which my left hand becomes senseless as soon as I do some work with it. This problem is there for past 8- 10 yrs. I also have severe back pain from time to time. Please suggest remedy, if any.
The sciatic pain caused due to a lumbar herniated disc can radiate down your legs and may make you immobile. It is quite common for a herniated disc to press against a nearby nerve and inflame, leading to pain radiating along the length of the affected sciatic nerve. For getting relief from lumbar herniated disc pain, you need to become active. Daily hamstring stretches are considered to be an effective way to tackle such pain if you do them regularly.
Here are three important hamstring stretches which will help you in strengthening your hamstring muscles:
- Seated chair stretches: This stretch is perfect for people whose mobility is limited or for those who have unusually tight hamstrings. It is carried out in a sitting position. While performing this stretch, you have to sit on a chair with another chair placed across. By resting one foot on the ground and the other on the second chair, you need to straighten your back and lean forward over the leg which is extended. Once you feel a stretch in the upper and rear thigh, you should be in that position for at least 30 seconds. You should switch legs and repeat the stretching exercise thrice for each leg.
- Towel hamstring stretch: If you like stretching while lying down, this stretch is an ideal option for you. For performing a towel hamstring stretch, you have to lie down on the floor and keep one leg flat. Tighten your abdominal muscles while you lift the other leg and keep it straight. You should wrap a belt around the elevated leg’s instep and use it for pulling back the leg towards you. Hold the position for around 30 seconds when you feel a stretch.
- Wall hamstring stretch: This stretch is for people who find the towel hamstring stretch hard to execute. For such people, extra stability can be attained by taking help of a solid surface such as a door jamb or a wall. You can rest the raised leg against the wall for support. You need to lie on the floor near a wall corner and leave one leg straight while placing the other against the wall. Your hips should be on the floor.
While you do stretches of any kind, you should only stretch as far as you are comfortable. You must not stretch to a point which causes pain. These hamstring stretches are quite safe, but you should avoid them in case of any sudden, acute pain.
One of my female frnd had some pain in breast. She thinks becoz of a fall in childhood. It does not pain now. But one of the breast is smaller than other. She is scared of breast cancer. Just married and not a mom. Please suggest. Age 20.
I have L5-S1 disc extrusion condition from a year resulting in severe pain in the right leg. Is surgery the only solution?
The very term 'breast cancer' can send shivers down a woman's spine. The associated pain, agony, sufferings are enough to deter a person. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the stage in which the condition is detected. Unfortunately, many women neglect and overlook the early signs, thereby delaying the treatment.
Self-awareness is vital for prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Treatment and prevention can only work when a person is alert and agile. If you notice any unusual symptoms, waste no time and consult an experienced physician at the earliest. However, prevention is always better than a cure. A few healthy habits, if practiced diligently, can go a long way to prevent and reduce the incidences of breast cancer.
- A healthy body weight: Overweight and obese women are at a greater risk of suffering from breast cancer. The key to this problem is as simple as shedding off the extra kilos. Research suggests that incidences of breast cancer are slightly lower in women who maintain body weight within healthy limits. Enrich your diet with fruits and vegetables. Drink water and other healthy fluids (coconut water, fresh fruit juice,) at regular intervals.
- Breastfeed for a healthy breast: Breastfeeding is important for the health of both the baby and the mother. While babies get the necessary nourishment, women who are into breastfeeding are less likely to suffer from breast cancer. Thus, all healthy lactating mothers should breastfeed their babies.
- Keep the vices at bay: Severe smoking and alcohol consumption can harm your body beyond imagination, with breast cancer being one the many harmful side effects. Drinking within limits (1 drink or even less per day) is still acceptable, but anything in excess is sure to spell doom.
- Some of the imaging and diagnostic tests can be harmful to your body: Repeated exposure to the radiations from CT-scan can put a woman at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Limiting the exposure to such radiations may help to check the incidences of breast cancer.
- Physically active and agile: Lack of physical exercise and an unhealthy lifestyle can wreak havoc with health complications as serious as breast cancer. It is important to keep your body physically active. Light to moderate exercise (for 30 minutes), jogging, cycling, swimming and other physical activities can work wonders for your body. Avoid stress and anxiety. Proper rest and a sound sleep are equally important.
Various research and studies suggest that women who are into hormone therapy are more susceptible to breast cancer. Such patients are often advised to avoid and replace hormone therapy with alternative treatments. However under extreme conditions (where the alternative treatments fail to produce the desired result), limiting the duration as well as the dosage of the hormone therapy may be helpful. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.
Does Knuckle breaking at neck at regular intervals when I'm feel stressed, will that leads to an disk injury or any problems in future. Usually I keep doing that when I work out in gym.
Different methods to treat Disc problems
Hello friends, I am Dr Gaurav Khera. I am an orthopaedic surgeon, doing joint replacements and spine surgeries at the Access healthcare. Now today I will be talking about the lumbar degenerative disc disease. Now it sounds very big, but it is not as complicated as it sounds. It basically is what you people commonly know as a disc disease. So it is a fairly common problem that is seen in our population today. In fact about 30 or 40% of the patients who come to our OPD have lower back pains, some have other disc problems and very commonly seen after 40 years of age and this incidence gradually increases up to 60-70 years of age. The other ecological factors which are associated with this are, first of all smoking, secondly it is, mild to moderate trauma, thirdly its seen in people who lift heavy weights, fourth is obesity, especially central obesity, that is if you have a very heavy waistline.
Now what is Lumbar degenerative disc disease? Now, our spine is composed of multiple bones, which are starting from your neck and they come all the way down to your hip, divided into the cervical, dorsal, lumbar and sacral spine. And between these bones, there are these small pieces of discs, which act as cushions. When your body walks, these act as shock absorbers between your body’s bones. Now this discs, when these come out of their normal place, it gives or presses against the nerves which are passing through these areas and it causes pain. This is what happens in the disc disease. Basically, in the patient it will come as a lower back pain, and this pain will be travelling down to the hip, and it will also be coming down to the legs. Some people complain that as they walk, the pain increases.
They also complain of tingling numbness. They complain that sometimes their fingers or their toes are feeling numb. These are some of the very common symptoms which are being seen. Few people may have only lower back pain, and these are the people who do not have very significant disc disease. Now there are two main causes of the disc disease. First is an inflammatory reaction that occurs in the disc, and second is the micro motion instabilities that occur. Inflammatory reactions may occur as a result of some small traumas which may occur such as when you may injure your back. Such inflammatory reactions occur in the form of small swellings in the body. And micro motion instabilities are when the body ages, the disc which has an outer fibrous thick layer, that degenerates, and as it degenerates, the pulp which is there at the centre, of the discs, tends to degenerate. What I mean is it comes out of its normal space. And as it comes out of the normal place, it comes and tends to press on the nerves and these are the two most common causes.
All disc patients are not to be operated. When we get these patients, the first and foremost investigation that we do is a X-Ray. And if required, we go in for a MRI. Frankly MRI is the known standard to diagnose the disc disease. The findings of a MRI are always coordinated with the clinical findings. Once we have diagnosed that it is a disc problem, we have to establish that what the compression on the nerves is. If the nerve compression is a lot, and if we think that we cannot do anything other than surgery, then we take the patient for a surgery.
If not, we take the patient fro physiotherapy, lifestyle changes and few medications. These medications may carry on for few weeks to few months. And a lot of exercise has to be carried on regularly. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, stoppage of smoking is very important. And if you can achieve this, then your problems are very easily solved. If you have any queries regarding your disc problems or back pains, then you can get in touch with me for the same.
You can reach me in my clinic, which is there in Indrapuri, by the name of Dr Khera’s Wellness Clinic or you can also contact me through Lybrate for the same. Thank You.
What is Bone cancer?
Bone cancer is malignant tumour of the bones which can spread to lungs or other parts of the body. It may have arisen primarily from the bone itself (primary bone cancer) or more commonly, may have spread to the bones (secondary bone cancer) from cancer of some other body organ like Breast cancer, Prostate cancer etc.
Primary bone cancer usually occurs in growing children and young adolescents, whereas, secondary bone cancer usually occurs in older age group. Usually, the patient experiences pain in the affected area, which over the time, gets worse and continuous. There may also be swelling in the involved region. It can cause weakening of bones resulting in fracture. Some patients may attribute these symptoms to any prior antecedent trauma. Unintentional weight loss may also be seen. Sometimes, these patients are wrongly being treated for infection, thus delaying the correct treatment which may have a bearing on the final outcome.
How common is bone cancer?
Secondary bone cancer is the most common type of bone cancer with bone being the third most common site of cancer spread (metastasis) from other organs. However, primary bone cancers are rare accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.
Causes of bone cancer?
There are no known environmental or other hereditary factors which cause bone cancer, however, certain patients are at a greater risk for bone cancer which include:
- Patients who have received prior radiation therapy
- Patients with a history of Paget’s Disease
- Patients with hereditary retinoblastoma - a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children
- Patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition
How is it diagnosed?
A patient suspected with bone cancer needs to be investigated thoroughly with blood tests, Xrays, MRI to look for local extent of disease. Since bone cancer can spread to lungs and other bones, staging of the disease is done either with whole body PET CT or a bone scan with CT Chest. Alongwith that, a biopsy (usually with a needle) is required to establish the diagnosis. It’s important to do biopsy from the correct site since wrong biopsy site can be detrimental in limb salvage and can result in amputation (cutting the limb). Therefore, it’s recommended that the biopsy should always be done by the surgeon (Orthopaedic Oncologist) who will be doing the final surgery for bone cancer.
Treatment of bone cancer is a multidisciplinary approach requiring an Orthopaedic Oncologist (Bone & Soft tissue tumour specialist), Medical Oncologist (Chemotherapy Specialist), Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy specialist) and Pathologist (Specialist in tissue diagnosis).
Usually in primary bone cancers, chemotherapy is given to the patient followed by surgery to remove the diseased bone which is further followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Limb salvage surgery is possible nowadays for bone cancers in which the part of the bone involved with tumour is removed surgically (rather than cutting the whole limb) and the defect is reconstructed with artificial joint, thereby saving the limb. In some cases, the cancerous bone so removed is given very high dose of radiation so as to kill all the cancer cells and the sterilised bone so formed is fixed back to the parent bone with the help of plates and screws, a technique commonly called as Extra Corporeal Radiation Therapy (ECRT). In children, since the artificial joint will not grow as the child grows leading to unequal limb lengths over a period of time, the defect can be reconstructed with expandable joint which can be lengthened as the child grows which allows to maintain limb length equality at the time of skeletal maturity.
Is cure possible in bone cancer?
With the current chemotherapy regimes and advanced surgical technology, cure is possible in upto 70-75% patients with primary bone cancer. In patients with secondary bone cancer, cure can still be achieved depending upon the primary cancer and the extent of disease. In advanced cases also, a lot can be done to control the disease and give a quality of life to the patient.
Is it possible to prevent bone cancer?
Since the exact cause of bone cancer is not known, as of now it’s not possible to prevent bone cancer.
Whom to consult?
First chance is the best chance when it comes to curing bone cancers. So, it’s advisable to seek treatment from a trained Orthopaedic Oncologist when confronted with a bone cancer to achieve maximum beneficial outcome.