What does stage 2 of bone cancer mean?

Updated at: Jun 27, 2011
What does stage 2 of bone cancer mean?


Tilottama Chatterjee
CancerWritten by: Tilottama ChatterjeePublished at: Jun 27, 2011

Looking through a microscope, doctors look at the size of cancer cells to decide the stage of the cancer and line of treatment. The higher degrees of abnormality are designated as higher stages of bone cancer.

Stage 1 bone cancer is low grade, implying that the cancer has not spread outside the bone. Stage 2 bone cancer is high grade, but has not yet spread to other organs in the body. An exception is Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that develops in adolescent males. In this case, because of its aggressive nature, no gradation as to Type 1 or 2 is made and the doctor will recommend chemotherapy and surgery to remove the portion that has been affected. Radiotherapy may also be used.

Stage 2 bone cancers are subdivided into Stages 2A and 2B. In the case of 2A, the cancer is still within the bone. In stage 2B, the cancer has grown through the bone and affected nearby tissues.

Types of treatment are dependent on the different stages of bone cancer, the age and general health of the patient.

If the person is at Stage 2A, where the cancer is still inside the bone, surgery of the portion of the affected bone and its removal is an option. The removed portion is replaced by a metal piece, which is known as a ‘prosthesis’, or by a bone graft, when
 a piece of healthy bone obtained from the person’s body which, in time joins the end of the amputated bone to make the bone whole.

In the case of Type 2B, which one of the later stages of bone cancer, case cancer has spread to nearby tissues then the surgeon may remove the entire limb. If the surgeon removes only the nearby tumour, there is a great risk that the cancer may grow back again.

Chemotherapy and radio therapy may be applied to shrink the tumour prior to surgery or after it to kill off the remaining cancer cells. These treatments are aggressive and not only kill cancer cells but also healthy cells. This weakens the person, which allows the cancerous cells to progress faster. They are accompanied by extreme nausea, which requires the treatment to be halted. 

According to surgeons from the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, bone cancer that starts in the bone tissue is relatively rare in India. About 2,400 cases are diagnosed every year. They do confirm the research on this affliction worldwide that Stage 2 bone cancer can occur in any of the bones of the body, but it occurs most often in the long bones of the arms and legs. While it can occur at any age, the most common types occur in children and young adults.

Their finding on Ewing’s sarcoma that affects younger males is that the three-year survival rate is about 65%, but this rate is much lower if there has been spread to the lungs or other tissues of the body.

In conclusion, Stage 2 bone cancer is a point when the cancer has spread and has been graded as Type A and Type B depending on whether it has spread to nearby tissues or not. Treatment options in later stages of bone cancer are by surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.




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