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Bone Cancer Life Expectancy

Updated at: Jan 10, 2014
Written by: Tilottama ChatterjeePublished at: May 10, 2011
Bone Cancer Life Expectancy

Bone cancer Life Expectancy: There are millions of people are affected by bone cancer throughout the world. Bone cancer life expectancy depend on many factors, such as how far the cancer has spread, the physical and mental strength of the person,

Millions of people are affected by bone cancer throughout the world. Bone cancer life expectancy will depend on many factors as are discussed below.

Tumours that commence in the bone tissue itself are classified as primary bone cancer. When malignant cancer cells from other organs like the lungs, breast or prostrate, that have been affected by cancerspread to the bones, it is called secondary bone cancer. Persistent pain and swelling of the affected place in the bone, are the most common symptoms of bone cancer.

Bone cancer life expectancy is linked with the type of cancer - the most common types of bone cancer are:

  • Osteosarcoma: occurs mostly in long bones of the arms and legs, as well as knees and shoulders of young persons.
  • Chondrosarcoma: the second most common form of bone cancer, originates from cartilage cells of the hips and pelvis of older people, generally, above 40 years of age.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: is a virulent form of bone cancer, affecting younger males of the age group of 4 to 15 years and manifested in the middle of the long bones of the arms and legs and affects the bone marrow.

Bone cancer life expectancy will depend on many factors, such as how far the cancer has spread, the physical and mental strength of the person, the time of first detection, and the type of treatment that is being given and whether the person can withstand the aggressive treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy that may kill healthy cells in the area along with the malignant cells.

Bone cancer life expectancy is generally gauged by the five year survival rates of people with a particular type of cancer, from the time it has been detected.

A study in the US has generated statistics on the five year bone cancer survival rates based on

  • Race and sex: Caucasian men, Caucasian women, African-American men and African-American women. The percentage of persons who survived was 68%, 73%, 71% and 69% respectively. The figures are so close that there can be no pattern to reveal if bone cancer is race or gender specific.
  • Stage at which cancer is detected: one would expect that this should have a direct link with greater survival rates in the early stages. This is borne out with 85% of cases surviving in persons in whom the cancer is in the primary stage, compared to about 30%, when the cancer has metastasised to other organs.
  • Age when detected:  categorised as under age 20 and above 75 reveal that survival chances are 50% in the case of the former and practically nil in case of the latter.

Bone cancer life expectancy is improving with new techniques and technology that doctors have at hand today, such as gamma ray radiotherapy which are of higher energy than the traditional X-ray radiotherapy, especially when the beam can be focused on the cancer using modern techniques, and cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen is injected near the cancer site to freeze and annihilate the cancer cells.

Through advances in medical research, and consistent efforts by the scientific community, bone cancer life expectancy is getting steadily better.



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