Bone tumours are not that common. Most of them are non-cancerous (benign). However, some of them are cancerous (malignant).Bone cancer often occurs in children and young adults.
Common signs of bone cancer may include pain, swelling, and the general feeling of being unwell. The affected bone is often weak and can easily fracture. If the pain does not go away, and even gets worse at night, it is strongly advised to get an opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon, who is dedicated to musculoskeletal oncology.
Your doctor will advise you on further management. This may involve a number of imaging investigations to characterise the lesion further. Often, a biopsy may be needed – meaning that your doctor will take a small piece of tissue from the lesion and sent it for examination under the microscope. Treatment depends on the specific diagnosis. If it turns out to be cancer, chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation may be needed. This requires a multidisciplinary team that is specialised in musculoskeletal oncology.
Due to advanced treatment, amputation can be avoided in most cases of bone cancer. Nowadays, limb-saving surgery is the norm and patients may return to an active lifestyle.
Please talk to your trusted doctor if you are worried about bone tumours.