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Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)

The most common cancers

Since 2004, cancer has taken the place of cardiovascular disease the leading cause of premature mortality. It affects one in two men and three women.

According to the National Institute of Health Surveillance, the number of new cases of cancer in 2005 was estimated at 320 000, 183 000 in men and 137 000 women.

In men, the prostate cancer (62,000 new cases per year), lung cancer (24,000 new cases) and colon-rectum (20 000 cases) were the most frequent.

In women, the three most common cancers are breast cancer (50,000 new cases per year), colon-rectum cancer (17,000 new cases) and lung cancer (7,000 new cases).

Definition of a bone

Bones are tissues that form our skeleton and constitute the backbone of the body. Long, short or flat, they are interconnected by joints.

Symptoms of bone cancer

Osteosarcoma is a primary cancer of the bone that is characterized by abnormal production of bone (osteogenesis). This tumor preferentially affects adolescents and young adults and is very rare (less than 100 cases per year).

Osteosarcoma mainly concerns the long bones, and two out of three times the knee.

Diagnosis of bone cancer (osteosarcoma)

Pain that persist and are growing at rest (especially at night), swelling of the affected area are the main symptoms that can reveal a tumor.

The diagnosis is made ​​from radiographs of the affected bone. It will be complemented by a biopsy.

Risks and causes of osteosarcoma

Its cause is unknown but the main causal factor is established radiotherapy (called sarcoma in irradiated area). However, the risk is very low (less than 0.1% of patients treated with radiotherapy then develop a sarcoma) and can undermine the benefits of radiotherapy.

Some family risk factors are also listed.

Cellular origin of Ewing tumors

Ewing's sarcoma is the second malignant tumor of the bone. It occurs mostly in children, adolescents and young adults. A team of French researchers in 2007 identified the cells at the origin of the tumor. This discovery opens the way to new therapeutic applications especially in young patients.

Treatment of bone cancer

Before treatment, an assessment will define the extent of disease. Osteosarcomas are treated locally by surgery and / or radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This last power that has made great strides this indication over the past twenty years has greatly increased the prognosis of these tumors and to heal a very large number.

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