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Bone Tumor - How It Can Be Diagnosed?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Prathmesh Jain 89% (69ratings)
M.S. Orthopedics, MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Ahmedabad  •  23years experience
Bone Tumor - How It Can Be Diagnosed?

When cells divide abnormally and uncontrollably, they can form a mass or lump of tissue. This lump is called a tumor. Bone tumors form in your bones. As the tumor grows, abnormal tissue can displace healthy tissue.

Some tumors are benign, meaning they aren’t cancerous. While benign bone tumors won’t spread to other parts of the body and are unlikely to be fatal, they can still be dangerous and may require treatment. Benign tumors can grow and could compress your healthy bone tissue. Other tumors are malignant, meaning they’re cancerous. Malignant bone tumors can cause cancer to spread throughout the body.

Causes of bone tumor:

The cause of bone tumors is unknown. They often occur in areas of the bone that grow rapidly. Possible causes include:

  1. Genetic defects passed down through families
  2. Radiation
  3. Injury
  4. In most cases, no specific cause is found.

Symptoms of bone tumor:

Symptoms of bone tumor may include any of the following:

  1. Bone fracture, especially fracture from slight injury (trauma)
  2. Bone pain, may be worse at night
  3. Occasionally a mass and swelling can be felt at the tumor site
  4. Some benign tumors have no symptoms.

Diagnosing a bone tumor:

There are some common conditions like fractures, infections and other conditions that may resemble tumors. But, to be sure some physical examination to be performed which will check the tenderness in the bone and also the range of motion. Blood or Urine test may be performed to detect different proteins that may indicate the presence of tumor. Doctor may go with X-rays and depending on the X-ray results other imaging tests might be necessary i.e. CT scan, MRI PET scan. In some cases biopsy is also performed. In this test. a sample of the tissue that makes up the tumor is removed.

Treating bone tumor:

Bone cancer is generally treated with Surgery in which the entire tumor is removed. The surgeon carefully examines the margins of your tumor to make sure no cancer cells are left. Surgical techniques have improved greatly. Other ways to treat is radiation therapy which is used in conjunction with surgery. Still if the doctor feels that cancer cells are likely to spread or already spread then Chemotherapy is recommended.

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