8 October 2019
When you think of cancer, bone cancer is often not the first type of cancer to come to mind. Primary bone cancer, whilst not the most common form of cancer, is still diagnosed in around 550 patients in the UK each year.
It is for this reason that the Bone Cancer Research Trust are holding the Bone Cancer Awareness Week from 7 to 13 October 2019. The aim of this week is to educate and inform about primary bone cancer symptoms, of which many people are unaware.
There are a number of types of bone cancer, including:
- Ewing’s Sarcoma;
- Spindle Cell Sarcoma; and
Bone cancer can affect people of any age but types such as Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s Sarcoma are most common in children and young adults under the age of 20. Young people can be affected because of the rapid growth spurts experienced during puberty, which leads to bone growth.
Treatment of bone cancer and the prognosis for cure depends on the particulars type of cancer and how much it has spread. If left untreated, a primary bone cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as to the lungs. It is therefore important that bone cancer is caught as early as possible and if there is a delay in a medical practitioner recognising potential symptoms of bone cancer, it can have devastating consequences.
Bone cancer can affect any bone but in most cases, it develops in the long bones of the legs or upper arms. The main symptoms include:
- persistent bone pain that gets worse over time and continues into the night
- swelling and redness over a bone, which can make movement difficult if the affected bone is near a joint
- a noticeable lump over a bone
- a weak bone that breaks more easily than normal
Sarah Jackson, a Solicitor in our Clinical Negligence department, suggests “If you or a loved one have any of the above symptoms, it is important that they are investigated. If there is suspicion of a bone cancer, you will most probably be referred for an x-ray of the affected area and if this shows abnormal features, you will be referred to either an orthopaedic surgeon or a bone specialist. They can thereafter consider further investigations such as biopsies.”
For more information in respect of bone cancers, you can access the website of the Bone Cancer Research Trust at www.bcrt.org.uk
If you have suffered from bone cancer and feel that there was a delay in diagnosis, please contact us on 01482 323697 or complete our form below, so that you can explore with our specialist solicitors whether you can bring a claim for Clinical Negligence.