Bone cancer diagnosis is an important step toward designing a successful treatment process as per the patient's condition and requirements. Also, it goes without saying that, like other cancer types, early diagnosis of the disease does help increase the bone cancer treatment success rate.
Also, testing for bone cancer includes multiple approaches, including physical examination, biopsy, and imaging. These tests help the doctor evaluate the stage and type of cancer and bone tumor medical procedure for further treatments.
Here are the common bone cancer tests for a valid and definitive diagnosis of the cancer.
Doctors conduct biopsies to make a clear distinction between malignant and benign tumors in addition to identifying other kinds of bone deformities or abnormalities. Also, a biopsy of the bone tissue helps in determining the specific type of cancer. There are two main methods of doing a biopsy: needle biopsy and surgical biopsy.
As per this method of bone cancer test, a thin hollow needle is inserted into the tumor through the skin to extract a small tissue sample. The patient is under the influence of local anesthesia when this bone tumor medical procedure is performed. Also, the doctor is guided by techniques such as CT scans and X-rays for precise targeting of the bone tumor.
A surgical biopsy involves the doctor making an incision to access the tumors directly. Through this incision, the doctor then removes a part of the sample for examination under a microscope. This surgical biopsy is used in cases where the tumor to be tested is located in a difficult place.
X-ray, as an imaging test, helps doctors get a clear picture of the bone sarcoma and its spread. X-rays are highly effective in detecting any damage or abnormalities in the bones caused by the growth of cancer. In addition, the x-rays are also useful in determining the real cause of a bone deformity, whether it is due to cancer or any other reason.
A bone scan uses radiotracers and a high-quality camera to detect and evaluate any bone abnormalities, including bone cancer. A bone scan is useful in determining whether the cancer has spread to other body parts or not.
Computed tomography, or CT scan, is an imaging test that offers detailed images of the internal body parts. A CT scan is useful in revealing the detailed position, size, characteristics, and extent of the spread of cancer.
MRI is a highly-powerful imaging test used for effective bone cancer diagnosis. An MRI offers a detailed picture of bones, soft tissues, and structures for any abnormalities, if any. Also, during a bone cancer diagnosis, an MRI is helpful in determining if there have been any changes in the bone marrow due to the cancer's spread.
PET, or a combination of PET-CT scans, are also part of the imaging tests that are useful for the diagnosis and staging of bone cancer. These scans offer detailed information about anatomical structures and metabolic activity, in addition to any uncontrolled growth in the affected bone.
A bone cancer diagnosis is never made with a blood test. However, these blood tests can be helpful in providing the required support for a conclusive diagnosis. Doctors conduct blood tests to test the levels of two essential enzymes in a patient's blood. These are alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. An elevated level of these enzymes can indicate bone cancer, as it implies a reduction in healthy cells.
Here are some effective bone tumor treatments often adopted by doctors as per every individual patient's health condition and cancer type.
Bone tumor surgery is considered the first line of bone cancer treatment. However, the surgical treatment is dependent upon factors such as the type of bone cancer, the tumor's location, size, stage of the cancer, and the patient's health condition. A bone tumor surgery is conducted with the goal of removing the cancerous tumor and preserving a maximum of healthy cells to ensure limb function.
Another effective method of bone cancer treatment is radiation therapy. It can be used either alone or in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatment options. Radiation therapy uses high-intensity radiation beams to target and damage the cancerous cells present in the affected bone. This treatment is effective in the management of localized bone tumors and decreases the chances of cancer recurrence.
Chemotherapy for bone cancer includes the use of drugs to either kill or slow the development of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy can be used to treat both primary and secondary bone cancers. The particular chemotherapy medicine for bone cancer is selected based on the type, stage, and size of the cancer.
Targeted therapy, as the name suggests, refers to a line of treatment that uses drugs to target particular molecules, genes, or proteins that contribute to the spread and growth of cancerous cells. The treatment method has a high success rate, especially for osteosarcoma treatment.
Immunotherapy is a bone cancer treatment method that works by improving the human immune system's ability to identify and fight cancerous cells. While cancerous cells hide from T-cells, a kind of white blood cell responsible for fighting different infections, immunotherapy improves the immune system's ability to identify these hidden cells. Immunotherapy is among the common methods used for Ewing sarcoma treatments.
When selecting a hospital for bone cancer diagnosis and treatment, HCG tops the list. HCG's team of highly trained multidisciplinary experts, advanced diagnostic tools, best available patient care, and perfect treatment options make it the best place for bone cancer treatment.
Bone cancer diagnosis and treatment can be a daunting affair as it is a rare cancer, and its symptoms also resemble those of less serious diseases, such as arthritis. However, early diagnosis is highly essential for successful bone cancer treatment, and thus, it is often advisable to visit the doctor as soon as any of the symptoms appear.