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Bone Cancer Metastasis - Research Paper Example

Some cancer cells, in the late stages of cancer, can leave the primary area and spread to the bone. Nearly all cancer types can spread to the bones. However, bone metastases generally spread from the prostate, the lungs, and the breasts to the bone. Nevertheless, bone cancer cells still resemble those of the organ from which they came from and they should be treated as such (Hasan, 2009). The skull, spine, ribs, pelvis, leg long bones, and the upper arm are the most common locations of spread in the skeleton. These locations interestingly correspond to bone marrow areas that exhibit high levels of the production of red blood cells, which have the responsibility of transporting oxygen to body tissues (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2007). Symptoms Some of the commonest symptoms include marked pelvis or spine pain or extremities because the tumor weakens the bone, tenderness or swelling in the affected area. At times, patients develop bone fractures. At other times, the bone does not break but it becomes so frail that a break is impending. Other symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, and fever. If cancer spreads to the spinal bones, patients risk developing nerve damage, which could bring about loss of the use of the arms and/or legs or paralysis. These a re referred to as ‘impending fractures’ and they may compel patients to have bed rest for a long time, the result of which is possible chemical imbalances in the blood for instance, hypercalcemia/increased calcium levels. These

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patients mostly suffer from anemia due to the decreased production of red blood cells. General loss in quality of life is the greatest concern for patients suffering from metastatic bone cancer (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2007). It is important to note that these symptoms are not a sure sign of cancer and if one suspects any of them, he/she should consult a doctor. Diagnosis On suspecting metastatic bone cancer, the doctor performs a complete medical examination, which may include a blood test since bone tumors can be linked with greater levels of particular proteins in the blood. He/she may also carry out an X-ray in addition to other bone(s) scans and if scans and X-ray results indicate the presence of a tumor, he/she may then perform a biopsy (removal of a tissue sample). Next, a pathologist examines the cells to establish if it is cancerous, and in case it is cancerous, he/she determines the cancer type (Cancerindex.org, 2003). Treatment Metastatic bone cancer patients have need of a team-approach to care. There is need for a medical oncologist co-working with pain management experts and social workers, a radiation oncologist as well as an orthopedic surgeon who is very conversant with this condition. Scheduled surveillance or follow-up should be planned with each of these persons as the surgeon and/or oncologist determines (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2007). According to Keller and Chung (2004), the treatment of bone metastasis presents a great challenge. Bone metastases from different forms of cancers exhibit different progression patterns and properties, suggesting distinct biological mechanisms. Several treatment options include surgical treatment to prevent a break or to treat an actual break, radiation, and medical treatment/management, which includes bone-specific therapy, endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, tamoxifen therapy, or a blend of treatments (American Academy


Bone Cancer Metastasis Name: University: Introduction Bone Cancer Metastasis refers to cancer that begins in other body parts and then spreads to the bone. It is one of the commonest cancers in the US and of the roughly 5533,400 Americans who die from cancer each year; at least two-thirds have bone metastases (Keller &Chung, 2004)…
Bone Cancer Metastasis
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