Dec 15, 2017

Bone Marrow Cancer: Symptoms, Signs, Causes And Treatments

Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms

Bone cancer is a type of cancer that attacks bone. This disease can be suffered by children up to adults.

Bone cancer is divided into two, namely primary and secondary bone cancer. Named primary bone cancer when cancer occurs and develops directly within the bone. While secondary bone cancer is cancer that comes from other body parts that spread to the bones.

The whole bone in the body could be stricken by the disease, but most occur in the bones of the leg and arm.

Signs and Symptoms

Below are some of the signs and symptoms, which are common in bone cancer:
  • Pain. Someone affected by bone cancer will feel pain in the area of bone that was attacked, and the pain will increase when moving. Pain usually is felt constantly until night.
  • The swelling. The area around the affected bone cancer will experience swelling and redness. If swelling occurs in the bone, which is close to the joints, then movements would be difficult and limited.
  • Brittle bones. Bone cancer causes bones to become weak or brittle. Even if it is severe, mild or small injury fall alone could make bones broken.

In addition, there are also some other symptoms, such as a sense of numb fingers and numbness when cancer in the spine pressing innervation, showing up the lump on the bone, the body feels tired, weight loss, fever above 38 ° C, temperature and sweat especially at night.

In adults, bone pain symptoms are sometimes misinterpreted as arthritis. In children and adolescents, it is sometimes misinterpreted as a side effect of bone growth. We recommend that you find a doctor if you or your child constantly feel the pain in the bones or the pain is continuing to deteriorate.

Causes of bone cancer

The exact cause of bone cancer is unknown, but the condition is thought to be caused by changes or mutations in the DNA structure of controlling cell growth so as to make it continue to grow out of control.

The buildup of these cells then forms a tumor that can invade nearby bone structure or even spread to other body parts.

Here are some factors that can increase the risk of someone allegedly affected by bone cancer.
  • High radiation exposure from a treatment ever experienced by sufferers, such as radiotherapy.
  • Ever have a history of a type of eye cancer called retinoblastoma when small.
  • Suffered Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare genetic condition.
  • Suffered from Paget's disease, a condition that can cause a weakening of the bones.
  • Having an umbilical hernia disease from birth.

The types of bone cancer

Based on where the cancer cells begin, bone cancer is divided into:

  • Osteosarcoma. This bone cancer develops at the end of long bones in the bone that is actively growing. This type usually attacks the shins, thighs, and arms.Osteosarcoma can be afflicted by anyone, but the most common are young adolescents and adolescents who just stepped into adulthood, ie the range of 10-19 years.
  • Chondrosarcoma. Typically, cartilage cells become the beginning of development This type of cancer, which usually attacks the femur, hip bone, ribs, shoulder blades, or upper arm bone. Chondrosarcoma commonly affects people aged over 40 years.
  • Ewing's sarcoma. This bone cancer develops in the immature nervous tissue of the bone marrow. This type usually attacks the femur, shins, and pelvis. Ewing's sarcoma is more common among boys than adults, at the age of 4-15 years.
  • Giant Cell Tumors in Bone. Although most of these types of tumors are benign, some can be malignant and commonly attack the bones in the legs (near the knee). These tumors rarely metastasize to other distant parts of the body, but often reappear despite surgery.
  • Chordoma. This bone cancer often appears at the base of the skull bone or on the spine. It usually affects people over the age of 30, and men are twice as vulnerable as women.

Stages of development of bone cancer

There are four stages that determine the severity of a bone cancer, including:

Stage 1. At this stage, the cancer is new to one part of the bone and has not spread to the other. Stage 1 is divided into two:
  • Stage 1A:  tumor size ≤ 8 cm
  • Stage 1B: tumor measuring> 8 cm, or if there is more than one tumor on the same bone.
Stage 2. Almost the same as stage 1, but at this stage, the cancer is still in one part of the bone and has not spread yet. At this stage also, the aggressiveness of cancer has begun to appear. Stage 2 is divided into two:
  • Stage 2A:  tumor size ≤ 8 cm
  • Stage 2B: tumor measuring> 8 cm.
Stage 3. At this stage, cancer has begun to spread to more than one area of the same bone.

Stage 4. At this stage, the cancer that gnaws at the bone has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or brain. Stage 4 is also divided into two:
  • Stage 4A: The  tumor has spread to the lungs
  • Stage 4B: The tumor has spread to the lymph nodes around and or spread to other organs other than the lungs.
Determination of the severity of bone cancer can be done through the process of diagnosis. This is useful in helping doctors to provide the right treatment.

Diagnosis of bone cancer

To find out if a patient has bone cancer, in addition to asking about the symptoms that are felt, the doctor needs to do some tests. Types of these tests include:

Biopsy. In addition to detecting the type of bone cancer suffered, this test can also determine the severity and spread of the disease if any. A biopsy is done by taking a little sample of bone for further investigation in the laboratory. This test is considered as the most accurate way to diagnose bone cancer.

X-ray. Through this test can be known whether the bone damage experienced by patients caused by cancer or other conditions (eg fractures). In addition to bone damage, unusual bone growth due to cancer can also be detected through X-rays.

Bone scan. This test is done by injecting some radioactive material into the veins. The material will be absorbed by the bone. Usually, a problematic or abnormal bone will be the faster absorption of radioactive material than normal bone. Information about bone obtained through bone scan is usually more detailed than those obtained through X-rays.

MRI scan. Through this method, the severity of cancer spread to the bone can be known. With the help of radio waves and magnetic fields, MRI scans can produce bone and soft tissue images in more detail.

CT scan. This check is done to find out if the bone cancer has spread, for example to the lungs. Scanning using this X-ray circuit and computer help can produce detailed body parts images in three dimensions.

Treatment of bone cancer

Treatment options for bone cancer depend on the severity of cancer, the location of cancer, and even the type of cancer itself. The primary treatment of bone cancer is usually performed through surgery in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Several types of surgery that can be done to overcome bone cancer, including:
  • Bone removal surgery. This procedure is usually performed if the cancer has not spread beyond the bone. Parts of bones or joints that are infected with cancer generally can still be reconstructed or replaced with bone or artificial joints although not infrequently also amputation steps should still be done. Surgical removal is also applicable if the new cancer spreads to the tissues around the bone, for example in the knee joint.
  • Amputation. Amputation is usually performed if the cancer is not successfully treated by surgical removal of the bone or if bone cancer has spread, such as to the nerves, blood vessels, and skin. Amputation may also be necessary in the event of a postoperative infection of bone removal. Patients who have to go through the amputation procedure will use artificial limbs to replace the raised limbs. Patients will go through the rehabilitation stage to restore the function of organs in the limbs raised through various types of therapy, one of which is physiotherapy.


Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment method that involves administering a number of medicines. In bone cancer, these drugs are infused into the blood vessels through an IV.

In the case of bone cancer, chemotherapy is usually performed before surgery with the aim of shrinking cancer to avoid amputation.


The use of mifamurtide in pregnant and lactating female patients should be supervised by a doctor. Sexually active patients should be accompanied by the use of contraceptives, Discuss each method of treatment with a physician before deciding to do so.

Mifamurtide is a method of treating osteosarcoma bone cancer that can be combined also with the medications already mentioned here, ie chemotherapy. In addition to bone cancer patients who have high osteosarcoma, mifamurtide is usually given after surgery.

Some of the side effects of mifamurtide are dizziness, nausea, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and fatigue.


The method of radiotherapy is done by using radiation jets to destroy cancer cells. In cases of bone cancer, radiotherapy may be used before or after surgery. This method can also be done to slow the symptoms of bone cancer in patients who can no longer be treated in any way. Radiotherapy is usually done as many as five sessions a week. Each session usually lasts a few minutes.

Opportunities heal bone cancer patients

Bone cancers that have not spread to other organs or are still localized are easier to treat than bone cancer that has spread or metastasized. This factor will later affect the chances of the patient to recover.

According to a study in the UK, a person diagnosed with localized osteosarcoma is estimated to have a 60 percent chance of survival for at least the next 5 years, compared to those diagnosed with osteosarcoma metastases that are only 25 percent probable.

As for the case of Ewing's sarcoma bone cancer that has been diagnosed, patients with localized conditions are estimated to have a lifetime chance of 70 percent for at least the next five years compared to patients with metastatic conditions who only have a 30 percent chance. Just as localized osteosarcoma, most Ewing's localized sarcoma sufferers also manage to recover from his illness.

In addition to the level of deployment, how severe the cancer cell network can also impact on the sufferer a chance to heal. According to the study, the ratio of bone cancer sufferers live odds chondrosarcoma stadium low with sufferers of the high stadium for at least the next 5 years is 80 percent of appeals 30 percent.