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Radiation Therapy for Bone Cancer: Important Things to Know

Bone cancer is a mass of unusual cells growing in a bone. The mass of cells known as a tumour can be very dangerous and must be removed. There are numerous causes of bone cancer, which include injuries that don’t get healed properly, inherited conditions, or other cancer that has spread. It is a very rare form of cancer. There are fewer than a million cases per year in India. 

Bone cancers are usually benign and do not spread rapidly. But they do affect the bone severely. They can cause the bone to weaken substantially and even lead to numerous fractures or breaks. There are different types of benign bone tumours such as: 

  • The most prevalent type is osteochondroma. It frequently occurs in people under the age of 20.
  •  Osteoid osteoma commonly occurs in long bones, usually in your early twenties.
  • Osteoblastoma is an uncommon tumour that primarily affects younger individuals and grows in the spine and long bones.
  • Enchondroma is most commonly found in the bones of your hands and feet. It frequently has no symptoms. It is the most prevalent kind of hand tumour.

Now that we have understood what bone cancer is and its various benign bone tumour types, let us now see what are the symptoms of bone cancer treatment methods.


The symptoms of bone cancer are very hard to identify. You might never get to actively feel a symptom unless you go in for a sprain and your doctor identifies it for you through an X-ray. The doctor can point out whether you have bone cancer or not after looking at your bone structure and/or X-ray. Here are a few symptoms that bone cancer patients feel:

– Severe bone pain

– Swelling in affected areas

– Frequent fractures

– Fatigue

– Weight loss

Bone cancer is not something to be taken lightly and should be treated with care immediately. You have to see the doctor when you feel:

– The pain coming and going

– If the pain increases during nighttime

– If painkillers have no effect

There are numerous treatment methods for bone cancer. In this article, we shall see how radiation therapy helps cure bone cancer and a few important pointers that we must keep in mind.


What Is Radiation Therapy?

When high-energy rays are bombarded in the affected area to kill cancer cells, it is known as radiation therapy. Since most kinds of bone cancer do not respond well to radiation, substantial dosages are required. This can cause harm to nearby healthy tissues, particularly essential structures (such as nerves and blood vessels). As a result, only in rare cases, radiation therapy for cancer is suggested as a treatment. 

Types of Radiation Therapy

There are different types of radiation therapy:

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Just like any other form of radiation therapy, there are numerous side effects involved, which you must know before you give your consent to this treatment. The side effects also depend on the location of the affected area. The amount of radiation used also plays an important role in the side effects of radiation therapy. Radiation can affect the skin of the area it is directed at. Based on the location of radiation or where it is directed, it can cause the following side effects:

  • If the radiation is directed at the skull, it can affect the nerves in the brain. This could lead to several problems such as thinking, nerve damage, headaches, etc. Radiation directed towards the spine can also cause a lack of feeling or numbness in many parts of the body.
  • Radiation directed towards the pelvis can cause urinary and bladder function problems. Reproductive organs might also get damaged.
  • Radiation at a joint could join the joint and lead to pain and scarring.
  • Radiation to the jaw area could lead to tooth problems.

The major problem with radiation therapy is that it could cause cancer to be formed in some other part of the body. If the dosage of radiation is higher, the probability of getting another form of cancer is also higher. But, you must understand that the risk of suffering from side effects or another form of cancer is very less and you must opt for it if your doctor suggests it as a last resort.

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