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Orthopaedic Tumours

These refer to benign or malignant growths that develop on the bones as a result of uncontrolled cell growth. Orthopaedic tumours can be seen in adults, as well as children. The symptoms may vary from one person to another, while some may not experience any symptoms at all. Almost 1 million cases of bone tumours are diagnosed in India every year, with the majority being benign.

What are orthopaedic tumours? 
Orthopaedic tumours are commonly referred to as bone tumours, and are the result of uncontrollable multiplication of cells found within the bone. These abnormal cells gradually accumulate and bind to form a mass or lump, that we commonly refer to as a tumour. There are many different types of Orthopaedic tumours, some of which are more common in children while others can be seen mostly in adults. 

What are the different types of Orthopaedic tumours?
Orthopaedic tumours are broadly classified into two different types based on the nature of the cells. These are:
●    Benign tumours - These are non-cancerous tumours and are more common. These do not pose any life-threatening complications and are localized in the majority of cases. Benign tumours can be simply removed with the help of surgery. 
●    Malignant tumours - Although not as common as benign ones, these are quite dangerous and are linked with a variety of life-threatening complications. The abnormal cells can easily spread through our body via metastasis. There are several different treatment modalities available for malignant tumours, such as surgical removal, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

What causes orthopaedic tumours? 
The underlying cause of orthopaedic tumours cannot be pinpointed, however, it is believed that the uncontrollable multiplication of the cells is triggered by certain genetic mutations in their DNA, that could be triggered by different factors. It is these changes that disrupt the normal multiplication of cells and compel them to multiply at a much faster pace. 

What are the indications of Orthopaedic tumours?
The symptoms of benign and malignant orthopaedic tumours are quite similar however the intensity of these symptoms may vary with those associated with malignant tumours being more severe. Some of the common symptoms include:
●    Development of a mass or lump that is easily noticeable
●    Intense pain, that may be experienced even when you are at rest
●    Increased vulnerability to bone fractures
●    Unintentional loss of weight
●    Swelling and tenderness
●    General weakness and fatigue

When is the right time to see a doctor? 
It is advisable to consult a doctor and get yourself evaluated as soon as you start experiencing any of the symptoms. The doctors will perform a physical examination followed by a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis.

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