Causes Of Osteogenic Sarcoma – Is Osteogenic Sarcoma A Cancer?


 As the world grows older everyday, so many diseases of unknown origin unveil, claiming lives and taking the joy of mankind away. Most times people die from diseases out of ignorance, neglect, fear and primitiveness.

     “There is time for everything” is a good advice from the bible. Yes! If there is time for fun, there should be time for a medical check up. When last did you examine your body medically to ascertain if you are a walking corpse or actively alive? Sometimes a person might discover something strange in the body, probably a lump. Instead of being curious to find out what it is, such a person will relax, saying “what I don’t know does not know me” until death becomes inevitable. If a lump grows out of the body, it is mostly a sign of cancer. 

   The most popular cancers are breast, lung, colon, rectum and prostate cancers. Osteogenic Sarcoma is not such a popular cancer but it normally happens in the long bones, knees, upper leg or thigh bone, the lower leg, upper arm bone, pelvis bone, shoulder bone and skull bone. 

What Is Osteogenic Sarcoma?

Osteogenic sarcoma, also known as Osteosarcoma, is a rare and aggressive type of bone cancer that primarily affects the long bone such as the arms and legs. 

It typically develops in the rapidly growing areas of bones, often near the ends of the bones where new bone tissue is forming, known as metaphysis.

Osteogenic sarcoma usually occurs in adolescents and young adults, although it can affect people of all ages. According to biomedcentral, the incidence of classic osteosarcoma is 3 cases/million/population/year. It represents 0.2% of all malignant tumours. In about 75% cases, patient with osteosarcoma are between 15-25 years of age. Male are more frequently affected than females.

As the cancer progresses, it can lead to fractures and the spread of cancer to other parts of the body, mostly the lungs.

Symptoms Of Osteogenic Sarcoma

It is important to note that these symptoms can be indicative of various bone and joint conditions, and having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean a person has osteosarcoma. However,  if you or someone you know experiences persistent, unexplained pain, swelling, or any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional or qualified doctor for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Early detection and treatment of osteosarcoma can help in managing the condition and improving outcome. Below are the symptoms:

  • Swelling near a bone:  swelling or a noticeable lump may develop over the affected bone which can lead to visible deformities in some cases.
  • Bone or joint pain: pain near the site of the tumour is one of the most common symptoms. The pain may worsen at night or with physical activities. 
  • Bone injury or bone break: the affected bone will become weak due to the tumor, making it possible for the bone to break.
  • Limited range of motion: if tumor affects a joint, it can lead to limited movement and flexibility in that joint.
  • Fatigue: fatigue and body weakness may occur, especially if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Weight loss: unintended weight loss can be a symptom of advanced osteogenic sarcoma.

Causes Of Osteogenic Sarcoma

The actual cause of osteogenic sarcoma is unknown but there are several factors identified as what contributes to the development of bone cancer. These factors include:

  • Genetic Mutation: this is a significant factor associated with osteosarcoma. Specific genetic changes or mutations may predispose individuals to develop this bone cancer. In some cases, osteosarcoma can be linked to inherited genetic conditions, Such as Li-Fraumeni Syndrome and hereditary retinoblastoma. These conditions increase the risk of various cancers including osteosarcoma.
  • Radiation exposure: exposure to high doses of ionising radiation is another potential risk factor for osteosarcoma. Radiation therapy used to treat other cancers can sometimes lead to the development of osteosarcoma in the irradiated area. While radiation therapy is essential and life saving treatments for many cancer patients, it can have long term consequences, including an increased risk for secondary cancers like osteogenic sarcoma.
  • Paget’s disease: paget’s disease of bone is a rare condition characterised by abnormal breakdown and formation of bone tissue which sometimes lead to the development of osteosarcoma.
  • Age Gender: this disease tends to affect specific age groups and genders more frequently. It is commonly diagnosed in adolescent and young adults, during the period of rapid bone growth. It is more prevalent in males than females.

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It is very important to note that most cases of osteogenic sarcoma occur in individuals without any known specific  cause. Early detection can help improve successful outcomes, endeavor to go for a check up if anything grows out of your body that seems strange. 

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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