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According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 2,300 new cases of bone cancer are diagnosed here in the U.S. every year.
In recognition of this sobering fact — and the fact that so many families are already struggling with bone cancer — we’ll continue with our discussion of the condition by looking at some of its more common types and some of the diagnostic tests available to physicians.
In general, the different types of bone cancer are classified based on the cells in which the cancer originated.
For instance, consider chondrosarcoma, which originates in the cells of cartilage, and most often develops in the arms, legs and pelvises of middle-aged adults and seniors. Consider also osteosarcoma, which originates in the cells of the bone, and most often develops in the long bones (arms and legs) of children and young adults.
It should be noted, however, that the origins of Ewing’s sarcoma, one of the more commonly occurring forms of bone cancer that most often develops in the pelvises and long bones of children and young adults, is actually unknown.
As grim as the forgoing may sound, it’s important to know that there are several diagnostic tools available to help physicians definitively determine sooner than later whether you or a loved one may have bone cancer. These diagnostic tools, mainly imaging tests, include bone scans, x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT scan) and positron emission tomography (PET scan).
Furthermore, in the event some sort of mass is detected via these imaging tests, physicians can also order a biopsy in order to determine whether it’s cancerous and, if so, what type of cancer it is and the stage to which it has advanced. Once this is done, treatment can begin in earnest.
All this, of course, is predicated on the ability of a physician to recognize some of the symptoms of bone cancer (something we examined in our first post) and perform the necessary exams.
If you are one of the unfortunate individuals diagnosed with bone cancer, who believes that your treating physician has failed to do this, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options.