The early symptoms and signs of bone cancer often appear to be similar with other medical conditions, delaying the diagnosis, and making it difficult to cure at an early stage.
Bone cancer is the rarest cancer type, making up to 1% of all other types of cancers. It affects the bone tissues. Bone cancer may begin in any bone, but in many cases, it starts in long bones like arms and legs or in pelvis bones.
It arises due to the unusual growth of cells in the bones, forming a mass or tumour. The tumour can be benign (non-cancerous), which may not spread to the rest of the body, and the second type, malignant (cancerous), which may spread to the rest of the body.
In fact, as per many studies, it has been seen that non-cancerous tumours are more common than cancerous tumours and are not a threat.
The survival rate of bone cancer in Stage 1 compared to Stage 2 is good. However, survival in Stage 3 is difficult. This means early detection can help a person survive this cancer.
Often signs of bone cancer may be ignored as they may appear like other medical conditions. This causes a delay in the treatment of the tumour and affects the survival. Thus, you must know the early warning signs of bone cancer.
Here are ten early warning signs of bone cancer that should not be ignored.
Weight Loss: Drastic unintentional weight loss can be a significant cause of worry. It would be best if you don’t ignore this. If your weight is reducing without any physical or dietary changes, you must consult a doctor and undertake the required tests and screening to be on the safer side.
Fatigue: Feeling fatigued may indicate many other health conditions. Patients may tend to ignore this since feeling tired or weak is not exclusively associated with bone cancer. In the case of bone cancer, patients may suffer from extreme tiredness despite resting. Therefore, this should not be taken lightly.
Fever: Another misguiding symptom of bone cancer is fever. Patients may suffer from low-grade fever for a long time. This may indicate the presence of bone cancer and should not be ignored; you must get yourself examined at the earliest.
Anemia: It is characterised as a medical condition when our body has insufficient red blood cells. This may appear in the case of bone cancer. A patient may experience weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath due to anemia. Thus, these signs should be taken seriously.
Experiencing pain in body parts: As an early warning sign, patients may experience pain in the affected body part, which may worsen during the night. Such pain may not subside through painkillers. You must consult a doctor immediately if pain persists for long.
Difficulty in moving: If you experience some problem while moving a particular joint or bone, then it can be a symptom of bone cancer. Generally, this is accompanied by swelling and severe pain in the affected area.
Swelling around a bone: In the case of bone cancer, the affected area may swell and appear red. The patient may experience difficulty in moving that particular bone. You must consult a doctor at the earliest if swelling appears near a particular bone or joint.
Numbness or tingling: The presence of cancer cells in the bones can stress the nerves leading to numbness and tingling sensations. It also causes discomfort and might lead to weakness.
Development of Lump: In case you observe the development of a lump around a bone, do not take it lightly. It may be an indication of Bone Cancer. The lump may cause some discomfort in moving that area.
Fractures: Bone cancer affects the strength of the bones and makes them fragile and vulnerable to break easily. A slight injury may cause significant damage and result in a fractured bone.
There is no guaranteed method to prevent bone cancer, but there are preventive ways to reduce the risk of getting affected.
You must maintain a good lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and diet good for bones, accompanied by regular physical exercise and reduce smoking, as it is a significant factor leading to many types of cancer.
Regular examination and screening can help you to keep a check on your health, and it will be helpful in the early detection of cancer too.
If you or anyone around you is experiencing any symptoms mentioned above, you must consult a doctor immediately.
Although bone cancer symptoms resemble common ailments, it is better to be sure and get examined. This will allow you to start the treatment in time and improve the chances of survival from bone cancer.