The following piece is a primer on the common myths associated with Bone Cancer, an introduction to Benign Bone Tumours, and attempts to put some of the widest speculation regarding the subject, at rest.
How Is A Bone Tumour Different From Bone Cancer?
Bone tumours are formed when living cells in the bone divide rapidly, forming a mass of tissue, entering a state of uncontrolled, inertial growth. Most tumours of the bone are benign, which means they are not cancerous and will not kill you. Such tumours do not metastasize, i.e. they do not spread to other areas of the body.
But they may still weaken the overall bone structure, and can lead to broken bones or cause other problems.
On the other hand, Bone Cancer is malignant, and destroys normal bone tissue. It may start in the bone, or spread to the bone from other parts of the body (Metastasis).
The Top 3 Myths About Benign Bone Tumours
These are the top questions that patients generally seek answers to, about Benign Bone Tumours. Here, the Onco.com team attempts to answer them objectively.
Question: Do Benign Bone Tumours Grow?
Answer: All tumours grow, both benign and malignant. Only the malignant ones can metastasize. Abnormal tissues can displace healthy tissues, and technically a benign tumour can grow and compress healthy bone tissues, causing further symptoms. However, only a malignant (cancerous) bone tumour can cause cancer to spread throughout the body.
Question: Are Benign Bone Tumours Painful?
Answer: In cases of a Benign Bone tumour, most patients do not experience pain or any painful symptoms. They are just aware of the existence of a swelling/mass with no sensation. Bone tumours do not originate from injuries, but an injury to an existing bone tumour will cause immense pain. Such injuries can also cause fractures in bones that are already weakened by the tumour.
References:American Academy Of Orthopedic Surgeons
Question: Are Benign Bone Tumours Dangerous??
Answer: Benign tumours by design, are non-malignant i.e; cannot spread to other parts of your body like regular cancers. But in some cases, they may obstruct blood vessels, or press against other organs, creating symptoms that may confuse patients because they’re similar to cancerous symptoms.
What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger?
No, this one doesn’t make you stronger. In fact, benign or not, bone tumour are known to weaken the bones, making them prone to accidental fractures, reducing their tensile strength and causing general weakness.