If you have been hit with the dreaded diagnosis of bone cancer or this blow has been dealt to someone you care about, you are sure to be riddled with questions. As you begin the journey toward treatment and lifestyle changes, you are probably wondering how do you get bone cancer or what the causes of bone cancer are. While answers to these questions will not resolve the problem, there is a need to understand why such a terrible thing has happened. There is always the hope that something can be done to reverse the illness before progression continues or to help others to avoid bone cancer from affecting their lives. Researchers do not have all of the answers, but they can provide helpful information that can provide something to hold on to when waging war against this vicious disease.
How Do You Get Bone Cancer?
You want to know if your bone cancer was a result of your genetics, your environment, or something you did. The same holds true when bone cancer has touched the life of friends or family members. Everyone one wants to know why this has happened and where the disease came from. There often appears to be no rhyme or reason as healthy people making wise choices in life are brought low by this illness. The scientific community does not have one definitive answer, but they can supply contributing factors to any form of cancer, including bone cancer.
Primary Bone Cancer or Secondary Bone Cancer: Understanding Two Forms of the Disease
Bone cancer can be identified in two ways. Primary bone cancer begins within the bone itself as cancer cells are generated. Secondary bone cancer originates outside of the bone in another part of the body, such as in a particular organ. It then spreads through metastasis to the bone, causing cancer to develop within the bone. If you are dealing with primary bone cancer, you may hear of terms such as chondrosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, or Ewing Sarcoma. Otherwise, cancer could have begun in the brain, lungs, liver, breasts or ovaries, only to continue to infiltrate the bones of the body. Regardless of which form of cancer that you are dealing with, you know that bone cancer will have a serious impact on your well-being. You or your loved one will be faced with a host of treatment options, including radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Amputation is a common way of dealing with bone cancer when it is confined to a certain limb. When it is widespread, the prognosis is generally grim and comprehensive treatments will be delivered in order to address the entire body.
What are the Causes of Bone Cancer?
Researchers are unable to identify any one cause of bone cancer. However, cancer.net a list of possible risk factors that could increase an person’s chance of developing cancer.It is important to understand that these risk factors are not definitive. Some people may never be affected by cancer even though they are more prone to developing the disease. Risk factors may not apply to other victims of bone cancer. It’s a frustrating medical mystery that is hit and miss. However, here are common, contributing factors:
- Previously undergoing radiation therapy or being exposed to radiation
- Undergoing chemotherapy in the past
- Experiencing benign tumors or other bone conditions in the past
- Genetics, such as when bone cancer runs in the family
According to the American Cancer Society,emphasizes the fact that the reason for most bone cancers is unknown.There is always the possibility that you or your loved one inherited a genetic mutation that resulted in the development of cancer, whether it began in the bone or not. You might have been exposed to chemicals at some point in life that caused a mutation in your DNA, turning normal cells into cancerous cells. If you were treated with radiation in the past or somehow exposed to high levels of radiation, your risk increases. In rare cases, individuals who have received a bone marrow transplant have developed bone cancer at a later time. However, there is no proven link between the two and it could merely be a coincidence. Doctors do not believe that previous bone injuries lead to bone cancer.
What Does This All Mean for You?
The main thing you can take from all this information is the fact that cancer is out of our control in the majority of cases. You or the one you care about may not have any of the contributing factors in your life. You might have been an active, healthy individual who did everything right, coming from a long line of ancestors who had similar lifestyles. You might have been exposed to something dangerous without your knowledge. Even if the risk factors fit your situation, there is nothing you can do about them. The main thing that you, or anyone suffering from bone cancer, can do is to move forward. Get many opinions on the best course of action to take on this disease. If you have not made healthy choices in the past, now is the time to begin to build your strength and fortify yourself against the ravages of treatment. You’ll need a positive attitude and to live each moment to the fullest. Prepare to fight hard and enjoy each day to the best of your ability. When you are feeling well, take advantage of those moments. On the tough days, give yourself a break and recharge for a time when you will hopefully feel better. Surround yourself with loved ones and make memories. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. As hard as a diagnosis of bone cancer is, it will force you to truly appreciate each precious second that you have.