Benign and malignant bone tumors: symptoms

To a fairly rare detectable diseases of the musculoskeletal system in medicine include tumors. This is a collective term, designating in medicine a whole group of neoplasms affecting bone and cartilaginous tissue.

Definition of

Bone tumors include malignant or benign degeneration of normal cells into atypical ones.

Neoplasms can be primary, that is, at this type of pathology, an atypical process begins with the bone or cartilage cells themselves. Secondary tumors are the result of metastasizing cancer cells from the primary focus, it can be prostate cancer, breast cancer and other internal organs.

Primary atypical processes in bones are more common in people under the age of 30 years. Secondary tumors are mainly detected in people of age.

Classification of bone and soft tissue tumors

Bone tumors are not fully understood and studied, and therefore different qualifications of this disease are often used.

Depending on their form, the most effective and safe treatment for the patient is selected.


  • Osteoma in medicine is considered one of the most favorable types of bone changes. This growth is growing slowly and almost never undergoes transformation into a cancerous process. The main age of the patients is 5-25 years. Osteomas are usually localized on the outer sides of bones and affect the bones of the skull, sinuses of the nose, tibia and bones of the shoulder. With a rare location on the inner surface of bones related to the skull, the tumor can lead to a squeezing of the brain, and this threatens the development of convulsive seizures, migraines, attention and memory disorders.
  • Osteoid osteoma is a subspecies of the first type of tumors. Characterized by minimal dimensions, clear boundaries and pain syndrome in most cases. Locations of osteoid-osteome localization are the tubular bones of the legs, humerus, pelvic bone system, phalanges on the fingers and wrist.
  • Osteoblastoma is similar in structure to osteoid osteoma, but it has an order of magnitude larger. It is formed in the bones of the spine, pelvis, tibia and femur. As it grows, soreness increases. With superficial localization, the redness of the tissues, their puffiness is noticeable, and with prolonged absence of necessary therapy, atrophy occurs.
  • Osteochondroma or osteochondral exostosis affects cartilage tissue located in long tubular bones. The structure of this tumor is the basis of the bone, which is covered with a cartilaginous tissue on top. Osteochondromas place their localization in almost 30% of cases choose the knee joint, rarely grow in the spine, humerus, in the head of the fibula. When located near one of the joints of the body, exostosis can become the main cause of limb function disruption. A person may have several osteochondrosis and then there is a risk of chondrosarcoma formation.
  • Chondroma grows from cartilage. The main places of localization are the bones of the hands, feet, less often tubular bones and ribs. Fertilization of the chondromes is detected in 8% of cases, the formation of this tumor initially occurs almost without obvious symptoms.
  • Giant cell tumors begin to form in the final segments of the bones and in the process of increasing in size, the soft tissues and muscles that are located in the row often grow. This type of neoplasm is mainly diagnosed at the age of 20 and up to 30 years.


  • Osteosarcoma or osteogenic sarcoma is diagnosed in people usually between the ages of 10 and up to 30 years, and the men among the sick are more. The tumor is prone to rapid growth, its main localization is metaepiphysis, related to the bones of the lower extremities. In almost half of cases, osteosarcoma affects the femur, followed by tibia, pelvic bone, iliac bone and shoulder girdle.
  • Chondrosarcoma develops from cartilaginous tissue. This tumor is found in elderly men. Localization of chondrosarcoma - ribs, pelvic bones, humeral girdle, bones of legs. The tumor grows slowly enough, with the appearance in the spine of the manifestation often resembles osteochondrosis.
  • Ewing's sarcoma affects the distal parts of the long tubular bones of the legs, less often is localized in the ribs, humerus, bones of the spine and iliac bone. This type of tumor is more often defined in adolescents, and there are more boys among them. Ewing's developmental sarcoma is aggressive, with the detection of this neoplasm usually metastases are immediately diagnosed. At first, the disease is troubled by vague pains that intensify at night. As the sarcoma grows, the pain syndrome interferes with normal life and habitual movements, at the late stage, fractures occur at the slightest trauma.
  • Reticular cell sarcoma can originate both directly from the bone itself and may appear as a result of metastasizing cancer cells from another organ. Such a neoplasm is manifested by pain and swelling, as the tumor grows, the risk of fractures increases.

Most bones are affected by cancer in the presence of a malignant process of the mammary gland, lung tissue, in men prostate, thyroid and kidney. Sometimes metastases in the bones are detected earlier than the primary focus of the lesion cancer process.

Clinical manifestations in children

Children can have both malignant and benign tumorous formations affecting the bone system and cartilaginous tissue.

Of malignant formations, primary tumors predominate over secondary tumors. In the second decade of life, the proportion of bone cancers is 3.2% of all malignant pathologies. Most often diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma and osteosarcoma.

The tendency to malignant lesions of bones is higher in boys and basically it concerns the adolescent period.

Osteosarcoma in children affects the long tubular bones and bones that form the knee joint. Less often the tumor is found in pelvic bones, collarbone, spine, lower jaw. Usually, this neoplasm begins to form with hormonal surgery( this range is 12 to 16 years) and affects the segments of the most intensive growth of the bones of the skeleton.

Ewing's sarcoma in children is revealed in flat bones, it is a small pelvis, scapula, ribs. Diaphysis of tubular bones may be affected. When diagnosing often it is possible to identify cancerous processes simultaneously in several bones, sometimes soft tissues are also affected. The peak incidence of Ewing's sarcoma is between 10 and 15 years old.

Bony sarcomas in childhood are manifested by rapid formation, the appearance of early foci of metastases and aggressive course. In comparison with adults, malignant tumors of the bone system in children and adolescents are less affected by therapy.

Causes of development of

A reliable reason for the formation of malignant formations in the locomotor apparatus to the end of science is not yet known.

On oncologists attributed this disease to oncologists:

  • Skeletal bone trauma.
  • Radiation irradiation.
  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Chemical and physical negative effects on the body.

With the development of bone tumors in adolescents, the appearance of cancers is suggested due to the rapid growth of the skeleton. When a cancer is detected in children under 5 years of age, the theory of abnormal embryonic tissue laying is considered. Symptoms of

Benign lesions of bone structures are rarely manifested by discomfort and pain. Usually pay attention to the protruding part in the skeleton. Limited movement possible.

Malignant lesions are characterized by soreness. At the onset of tumor growth, pain can appear and disappear. Then it becomes almost constant, amplified at night. In place of growth of the stagnant tumor, you can notice a swelling, it is steadily increasing in size, the skin above it is hot to the touch, hyperemic or bluish.

When the joint is affected, its function is gradually developing. Sometimes the first sign of a tumor-like growth is only fractures of the bones. When carrying out radiography, cancer changes are detected.

Of general symptoms, there are weaknesses, lethargy, lack of appetite and weight loss, periodic temperature rises.


Diagnosis of tumors begins with examination of the patient and with the collection of anamnesis. Of the instrumental methods used:

  • Radiography. On the basis of certain radiographic signs, the radiologist can assume that the patient has a tumor type.
  • Computed tomography is assigned for the purpose of internal research and investigation of the entire tumor, its boundaries and the degree of adhesion to surrounding tissues.
  • A bone biopsy allows to determine the histological appearance of the neoplasm. This procedure is not performed if the doctor is absolutely sure that there is no malignant damage to the bone.

Treatment of

Treatment of diagnosed bone tumors is mainly performed only surgically. This applies to benign and malignant processes.

Chemotherapy and radiation exposure as separate types of therapy for bone tumors are practically not used, since their effectiveness in this case is minimal.

According to the indications during the surgical operation, the limb can be completely removed( amputated).Although recently this type of operation is trying to offer patients only in extreme cases.

The effectiveness of the entire therapy depends on the stage of the malignant process, on the patient's age and on the presence of metastases. Survival of patients with primary bone malignancy in recent years has increased and this is due to the use of modern methods of combined treatment.


There is no specific prophylaxis of malignant lesions of the bone system of man.

But always avoid injury and not be exposed to radiation.

It is necessary and periodically to undergo preventive examinations and take tests, many tumors were detected at an early stage precisely with such physical examinations.

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