Mumbai: On Friday, May 11, 2018, Maharashtra’s Additional Director General of Police (Establishment) Himanshu Roy shot himself dead with his service revolver at his residence in Mumbai. According to reports, he had been suffering from bone cancer and was on medical leave for more than a year. While the tragic news of the death of former Maharashtra ATS chief has shocked the entire nation, let us try to understand what exactly is bone cancer.
Bone cancer is a malignant tumour that primarily starts in the cells that make up the bone. According to the Mayo Clinic, bone cancer is rare and accounts for less than 1 percent of all cancers. This type of cancer occurs when a tumour, or abnormal mass of tissue, forms in a bone. Here are some important facts about bone cancer you should know:
1. Primary bone tumours – tumours that arise in the bone tissue itself – may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), which means it is growing aggressively and spreading to other parts of the body. Benign tumours in the bones are more common than malignant bone tumours.
2. There are different types of bone cancers and they are often treated differently. Some of the most common types of bone cancer include –
- Osteosarcoma – The most common type of bone cancer that affects most commonly in older children, teenagers, and young adults (10-19 years of age). It is more common in males.
- Chondrosarcoma – It is the second most common bone cancer seen mostly in people older than 40 years of age.
- Ewing sarcoma – Sometimes referred to as the Ewing sarcoma family of tumours (ESFTs), it is an aggressive form of bone cancer and affects mostly children 4-15 years of age.
3. Signs and symptoms of bone cancer are bone pain, swelling in the affected areas, weakened bone, fatigue, unintended weight loss, etc.
4. Treatment depends on various factors – such as stage and the type of cancer, size and location of the tumour, age – and include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, surgical treatment is the most common treatment for bone cancer.
5. It’s not clear what causes bone cancer, but experts have identified certain factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing the disease. These include hereditary, abnormal cellular growth, radiation therapy, etc.
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