Cancer is one of the most common and critical illnesses in the world. The various types of cancer have a different approach and effect on a patient. We will learn about secondary bone cancer prognosis, in this article.
Let us begin with understanding the term ‘secondary bone cancer’, first. This bone cancer, unlike other cancers, does not originate in the bones, like primary bone cancer. It is defined as the cancer that has spread because of other primary cancers, like those of the kidneys, breasts, lungs and prostate.
The primary cancerous tumor made of up numerous cells in any of these parts develops fully, after which, some of the cancerous cells may break off from the primary tumor, and travel to other parts of the body via the blood. Secondary bone cancer is formed when the cancerous cells travel from these parts and settle onto the bones and create a new tumor. This process is also called ‘metastasis’.
Secondary bone cancer is more aggressive than primary bone cancer, as the cancerous cells are matured and fully developed, so controlling the disease becomes more difficult. People diagnosed with this condition are aware of their diagnosis for any of the primary cancers. But sometimes, it can be detected before detecting any primary cancer in an individual. If no primary cancer is found as the cause, it is known as an unknown primary tumor. We will discuss the outcome and the response of the patient dealing with secondary bone cancer, in the following, that is termed as secondary bone cancer prognosis.
Prognosis for Secondary Bone Cancer
The term ‘prognosis’ can be simplified as ‘outlook from an illness’ or how the body copes with the illness. In case of the secondary bone cancer, the prognosis will vary. As the origin of the cancerous tumor is not the bones, the region where the tumor first developed will be the factor to conclude prognosis. Mostly, this cancer cannot be fully cured, however, there can be some exceptions.
Treatments will ease the pain, target the symptoms, and will be able to keep the patient living for years with a quality life. However, the exact prognosis can be given by the doctor who has studied all the details, history and condition of the cancer. The doctor will be able to give a close insight of the prognosis.
The growth of secondary bone tumors also depend on the type of primary cancer, which decides the development of the tumors. The age, health, and the rate of growth of the cancer, combined with the reaction of the body to the treatment, the type of treatment, etc., can conclude a prognosis. When discussing the prognosis with a patient, the doctor will consider all the factors that will affect the patient’s illness and the treatment as well. Based on the research on cancer till date and all these factors, the doctor will be able to predict what can be the possible prognosis.
Talking about the survival rate, it may vary. The survival rates for metastasis is much less as compared to primary bone cancer. Diagnosis like X-rays, blood tests, CT scans, MRI scans, etc., can be followed to detect the cancer, followed by treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, hormone therapy, radiation, etc., combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Advanced prognosis showing a long survival period is rare. The treatment at the advanced stage is usually palliative, that is focused mainly on reducing the symptoms. These treatments should be able to keep the hope of the patient surviving till the maximum.
In certain cases, the treatment can give the patient a good life for months and even years. The only situation where the survival period dips low is when the cancer fails to respond to the treatment completely. It is this time that is referred as ‘terminal’ stage’ of the patient in illness, that precisely defines the last few days or weeks of the patient surviving.
In some rare cases, a considerable amount of time can be lived by the patient, before actually closing in to the terminal stage. Depending on the above factors, an average secondary bone cancer survival rate after diagnosis with proper treatment is 2 – 3 years. Moreover, with slower growth of bones in older people, a good chance of living for a longer time can be expected, in most cases.
The above information is not a standard prognosis, and is only for informative purposes. For more details and close prognosis, one must consult the doctor. We must understand that a secondary bone cancer prognosis is only prediction, and it should not be confused with an exact report of the future health. With a strong support from family and friends, and good treatment, one can fight the tumor, certainly with more determination and willpower.