Bone cancer is a condition that does not affect many people in the United States. According to the Mayo Clinic, less that 2,500 Americans are diagnosed with the condition, and it is more prevalent in children than in adults. To diagnose the condition, your doctor may use an imaging test such as an MRI or CT scan, and he may also use a bone scan, which helps determine the exact location of the tumor.
With bone cancer, gradually increasing pain usually is a symptom. The pain may only start out as aches after rigorous physical activity, or pain when you first wake up in the morning. However, as the condition develops, the pain will gradually get more intense and occur more often. This could be a gradual build of weeks, months or years. It is important to report the increased instances of pain to your doctor immediately.
You may start to notice that, as bone cancer advances, your bones may become soft and brittle. It may be difficult for them to support the weight of your body, and your bones may also start to bend over time. You may also be more susceptible to fractures.
It is possible that bone cancer may start to generate what can seem to be flu-like symptoms. You may begin to experience pain in your joints that is a constant and achy pain. You may start to run a fever, and you may begin to experience nausea or vomiting. You may also start to show signs of fatigue much more easily than usual. You may begin to feel dizzy after even the most moderate of physical activity, and you may find it difficult to maintain your balance. You may also begin to show an unexplained but persistent weight loss.
Anemia is a symptom sometimes associated with bone cancer. Anemia is a condition in which your body is not creating enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the different organs of your body. Because of this, your heart may start to beat faster to move more red blood cells, and you may begin to feel pain in your chest. You may begin to experience heart palpitations, which make your heart feel like it is racing, and it may also feel like your heart has skipped a beat.
Bone cancer is normally treated with a regimen of chemotherapy medication, radiation treatment or a combination of the two. Your doctor may also decide to use surgery to remove the infected area to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.