Osteosarcoma belongs to most common types of bone cancer. It is also an often spotted type of bone cancer in children, especially in adolescence
Osteosarcoma belongs to most common types of bone cancer. It is also an often spotted type of bone cancer in children, especially in adolescence period when bones grow very quickly. As for adults, osteosarcoma may appear in people after 60 or in cancer patients who underwent radiation therapy for other types of cancer.
Osteosarcoma treatment may take various forms, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy treatment, and osteosarcoma surgery. The exact type of bone cancer treatment depends on the patient’s age, the location of cancer and bone cancer stages. Developed metastatic bone cancer will require a more complex approach than bone cancer in its early stage.
Bone Cancer Symptoms
To most obvious signs of bone cancer belongs bone pain. Growing youths often experience natural bone pain connected with the quick bone growth and it is sometimes hard to say whether the bone pain they experience is normal or is it a bone cancer pain. For this reason, many people do not recognize the bone cancer symptoms until the osteosarcoma evolves towards late bone cancer stages.
Bone cancer stages are crucial in deciding whether patients are able to undergo bone cancer treatment. In early bone cancer stages all approaches, even the osteosarcoma surgery, are available, while in late bone cancer stages, bone cancer surgery is often impossible or ineffective.
Preparations for osteosarcoma treatment start always with a thorough analysis of one’s medical history and medications. Doctors try to adjust the bone cancer treatment to patient’s health and rule out the substances which can affect it.
As for radiation therapy and chemotherapy, it is advised to undergo scheduled medical treatments before them, since it may be impossible for some time after these procedures.
Osteosarcoma treatment may take different forms depending on the bone cancer stages and patient’s overall condition. To classical elements of osteosarcoma treatment belong:
• Chemotherapy – it may be administered before and after the osteosarcoma surgery or paired with radiation therapy. As chemotherapy, we understand the use of powerful drugs to fight bone cancer. Chemotherapy may take the form of a pill or an injection.
• Radiation Therapy – radiation therapy is used in similar fashion to chemotherapy but instead of drugs, it utilizes radiation to destroy bone cancer cells. It may be administered as external radiation therapy (with a machine generating radiation) or internal radiation therapy (a pill).
• Bone Cancer Surgery – in osteosarcoma surgery doctors attempt to remove the bone cancer-affected tissues totally. Sometimes it is also used in later bone cancer stages in order to slow down the development of osteosarcoma.
Osteosarcoma treatment results in a long recovery process. However, the length of it depends mostly on the scope and doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone cancer surgery.
The recovery from osteosarcoma treatment may take weeks (bone cancer surgery) or even months or years (chemotherapy and radiation therapy). As for chemotherapy and radiation therapy, they result in various side effects which should (but not always do) fade in the long run. In the case of osteosarcoma surgery, patients may need an implant to make up for resected parts of bones.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy as osteosarcoma treatment may result in damage to lungs and other vital organs, internal bleeding and other complications. As for bone cancer surgery, it carries the risk of damage to blood vessels and nerves and infection. Rarely the metastatic bone cancer may spread so much that amputation will be required in the course of the osteosarcoma surgery.
To well-known side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy belong nausea, general feeling of being tired, neurological problems, memory and concentration issues.
Osteosarcoma surgery may result in lesser ability to use the operated limb, be it a hand or a leg.
Osteosarcoma survival rate depends on bone cancer stages but even for developed cancer which didn’t spread to other organs, the bone cancer survival rate is established to be as high as 70%. For patients with early bone cancer stages, this number may be even higher, why metastatic bone cancer patients have a lower chance to fully recover from it.