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Bone cancer

Bone cancer: diagnostic and treatment
Healthy bone on the left, bone with cancer on the right

Bone cancer is a pathological process, when normal bone cells changes into something malignant. Thence it is called cellular transformation. Cancer that arises from bone cells is primary bone cancer. However, it is quite rare. Another cancer that forms from metastases of other organs is secondary or metastatic bone cancer. In other words, this type of cancer is results of involvement bone cells in oncological process already underway.

There are different types of bone cancer. It depends on the cells which form a malignant tumor. Some of the most fundamental types are listed below:

  • osteosarcoma;
  • chondrosarcoma;
  • Ewing’s sarcoma;
  • fibrosarcoma;
  • malignant fibrous histiocytoma;
  • giant cell osteoblastoma;
  • chordoma.

Causes of bone cancer

The precise causes of bone cancer are unclear, but we know the main, such as:

  • various carcinogenic factors;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • all conditions which cause tendency to fractures.

Bone cancer picture
Cancer on the bones

Symptoms of bone cancer

People who are sick with bone cancer often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • pain or tenderness in the area of the tumor;
  • swelling around the affected area of bone;
  • severe bone pain, that often aggravated at night;
  • frequent bone fractures;
  • unintentional weight loss;
  • increased fatigue;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • fever and bouts of night sweat.

Diagnostic facilities

First of all, diagnostic of bone cancer begins with a preliminary examination of patient and studying  patient’s personal health information. Certainly, laboratory diagnostic is playing an important part in careful patient’s assessment and diagnosis. Laboratory examinations includes biochemical blood tests, which can determine alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level, and serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level. For instance, cost of full blood panel test, including tumor markers, maybe approximately about 100 $.

Interesting: High levels of an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase in the blood can indicate bone disorders, bone metastasis patients. Namely, levels of alkaline phosphatase increase, when abnormal bone tissue is being formed by cancer cells. Whereas, serum lactate dehydrogenase is a tumor marker in Ewing’s sarcoma.

Further, radiographic examination which use contrast agents helps to determine the localization and size of tumor nodes. Namely, a computed tomography (CT) and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses for confirmation of diagnosis and identification metastases. On average, MRI scan cost can vary from 450 $, and radioisotope examination of the skeletal system – from 250 $.

Important! The cost of one procedure or another will depend on the chosen clinic in a particular country. For more information, contact us directly via web forms or email.


Most importantly, a biopsy with a histological examination of bone samples determines whether the cells are cancerous. If the cells are cancerous, the biopsy results can tell your doctor where the cancer originated — the type of cancer. An excisional biopsy is a medical test in which the whole lesion or part of the bone is removed and tested. If you decided to treat in another country and you have biopsy tests, so you can take it. Therefore, cost of analysis will be cheaper, than taking a new biopsy. For example, price can range from 400 $. Whereas, estimated cost of new biopsy is about 1 250 $.

In conclusion, when a diagnosis is accurate and made in a timely manner, a patient has the best opportunity for effective bone cancer treatment.

Treatment methods

Bone cancer treatment should be provided in accordance with individualized treatment plans developed on the basis of careful assessment and diagnosis. Individual plan is given by oncologist after diagnostic and depends on many factors such as: cancer spread, patient’s condition, age patient. In this paragraph we consider main methods of treatment, such as: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgical treatment and other.

Radiation therapy

The first method is radiation therapy, that reduces the size of the tumor and halt its development.

Radiation therapy can be given in 2 ways, such as:

  1. External radiation (or external beam radiation): uses a machine that directs high-energy rays from outside the body into the tumor.
  2. Internal radiation, interstitial radiation (or brachytherapy): uses radioactive materials that places right into or near the bone cancer.


The second method is chemotherapy, that destroys atypical cells by cytotoxic drugs. Chemotherapy can be given by mouth as tablets or capsules (oral chemotherapy) or by injection or a drip directly into a vein (intravenous chemotherapy). In other words, the drugs go into the bloodstream and circulate to reach and destroy cancer cells all over the body.

For example, the drugs mainly used to treat bone cancer include:

  • methotrexan,
  • leucovarin
  • doxorubicin,
  • cisplatin
  • ifosfamide,
  • etoposide.

Surgical treatment

The third method is surgical treatment, and often involves a wide excision of the tumor. In other words, the tumor is removed, along with a margin of healthy tissue around it in all directions. Doctors strive to preserve limb, thus amputation is used in extreme cases.

Moreover, reconstruction is done at the same time as surgery to remove cancer. For instance,for bone reconstruction uses an implant or a metal plate.

In addition, the modern method of treatment is radio wave surgery – “cyber-knife.” For example, cost of surgical treatment for bone cancer can start from 12,000 $ and it is calculated individually. For clarification of the exact price, please send us request through our website.

Other bone cancer treatment

Next method is cryodestruction of the tumor, that removes cancer by exposure to low temperatures. Liquid nitrogen is poured into the hole left in the bone after curettage. For example, it may be done to treat small, low-grade bone tumors.

Myeloablative stem cell transplantation restores the bone marrow after intensive chemotherapy, as well.

In conclusion, some people can get only one treatment. But most people have a combination of treatments. For example, surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Above all, early and effective treatment is guarantee your quick recovery!

Risk factors

The known risk factors for bone cancer are:

  • radioactive radiation;
  • childhood;
  • frequent fractures;
  • benign tumors;
  • genetic diseases,such as Paget’s disease;
  • family history.

How to prevent bone cancer?

Some recommendations with the purpose of early detection and prevention of bone cancer include:

  • regular check-ups;
  • careful attention to your health and nutrition;
  • compulsory treatment of diseases that can be cause bone cancer.

Above all, cancer-prevention tips helps you to be healthy.

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