Cancer: Osteosarcoma And Its Prevention

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Cancer is one of those words that instantly raises alarm bells when mentioned. Osteosarcoma is the pathophyisiological disease that will be discussed in this essay. Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that can be found in the bone of humans. Cancer of the bone can occur in any of the many bones in the human body, without exception. It starts out as healthy cells growing out of control, forming what medical specialists call a mass. A mass is a tumour and it is either malignant or benign and the only way to know for sure which it is, is by having it checked out by a medical specialist. If a cancer is deemed malignant, that just means it can and will grow and spread to healthy parts of the body in order to start to cause destruction elsewhere as well. Benign, on the other hand is a mass that is will not cause destruction and will also not spread. Osteosarcoma is a malignancy associated with bones and can be found to also hinder other body systems. It is a type of bone cancer that starts out in the cells where bones are formed and although it is rare, it is not impossible to get.

Osteosarcoma usually is found to occur in the long bones like the legs or even the arms, but this does not mean it cannot be found elsewhere. Historically speaking, this ailment happens to children and adolescents. Around three per cent of all childhood diseases are known to be bone related cancers. The reason behind this is believed to be because the bones are growing and they start to grow out of control. This type of cancer is the third most common type of cancer in adolescents. It is also the most common type of bone cancer in small children.

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Some signs of potentially having bone cancer are unexpectedly, pain in the bone, or the tendons which may surprise some. Another potential sign that is hard to miss is a mass that can be felt through the skin and redness or swelling near the mass. Another sign to watch out for is pain while lifting, but this is only if the cancerous bone is related to the arm. Or, pain while walking, or even limping, if the cancerous area is related to the leg. Cancer can also limit movement, if the area hindered is related to the joints. Also, because the bones are being targeted by this deadly disease, bones can be found to be fragile and easily break doing simple day to day activities. Some symptoms associated with bone cancer are localized bone pain or swelling, and also unexpectedly pain in the bones or joints. In addition, because osteosarcoma affects the proper growth of the bone and its strength, bone tissue formations are hindered.

Osteosarcoma has quite a deadly prognosis. Surviving cancer has never been a walk in the park and bone cancer is not the exception. If the disease is localized, this means that it has not spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer is isolated, the survival rate with treatment is approximately 70%-75%. If the cancer, on the other hand, has already spread, the prognosis is lowered to 30%. The epidemiology of osteosarcoma is that around 8.9% of children from infancy until nineteen years old will have cancer in the bone that will kill them.

Prevention is always said to be the key for most diseases, however, that is nearly impossible to do with osteosarcoma. Leading a healthy lifestyle can certainly help, for example; exercising, not smoking, etc. but there is no vaccine, no pill you can take to 100% prevent bone cancer. Sometimes, it is not even about the lifestyle you lead, it is just about genetics. That is why if people have a relative that has had cancer in the past, they are advised to consult with their physician about it so they can get a checkup and make sure they do not have it. Since cancer cannot be prevented, it is smart to try to catch it early on so treatment has a higher chance of succeeding. Since there are no sure ways to prevent cancer, the most important way to deal with cancer if you have it is to get treatment. Current and acceptable treatment for bone cancer is like treatment for any other type of cancer. This includes chemotherapy before and after treatment and also surgery to remove the mass. Sometimes, even with these treatment options, cancer can come back so it is advised that cancer patients get a checkup every six months to check for a re-occurrence. 


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