Bone Cancer vs. Leukemia

What is the difference between bone cancer and leukemia?

There are many different forms of bone cancer, such as osteo sarcoma, chondro sarcoma and fibro sarcoma. These cancers refer to malignant tumors that develop in and on the bones. If the cancer arises directly from the bone, it is said to be a primary malignancy. However, bone cancer often develops a secondary cancer from the tumors in other organs of the body that have deposited the cancer cells in the bone. Examples of this include breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Bone cancer is one that is very hard to treat. This is because the bones do not respond well to chemotherapy and radiation. Patients with bone cancer experience severe pain along with a loss of strength in the affected bones. This loss of strength means that they fracture very easily. One of the most common treatments for bone cancer is amputation if the affected bone is in one of the limbs.

There is a poor outcome for secondary cancers because by the time they have spread to the bones they have also spread to other parts of the body. The cancer cells originating in the bones can also spread to other organs. In the later stages of this disease, the only treatment possible is to help control the pain and support the patient as much as possible.

Leukemia is cancer of the blood. It is diagnosed by means of a bone marrow aspiration biopsy because the red blood cells and the white blood cells develop in the bone marrow. When there is an abnormal formation of these cells, this is an indication that leukemia is present. In leukemia too many white blood cells are produced and these take over the red blood cells interfering with their job or protecting the body against foreign substances. The first symptom of leukemia in a patient may be anemia. There are also different forms of leukemia, such as ALL, AML, CLL, and CML.

The usual treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. Bone cancer is rarely found in children, but this is not the case with leukemia.

Summary

  1. Primary bone cancers are called sarcomas.
  2. Sometimes cancer cells from other parts of the body metastasize in the bones.
  3. Leukemia is cancer of the blood and originates in the bone marrow.
  4. If they are diagnosed early enough, some types of leukemia can be cured.
  5. Leukemia can affect people of any age.