Known as the “forgotten cancer,” sarcoma and other types of bone cancer are often overlooked and not discussed. During July, CanCare encourages you to participate in Bone Cancer Awareness Month. Here is what you need to know about this type of cancer and how you can show support!
What is Bone Cancer?
In the United States, around 3,200 people are diagnosed with primary bone cancer every year. While it is rare—bone cancer makes up 0.02% of cancer diagnoses nationally—children and teens are the most affected age group. It can develop in any bone of the body but usually grows in the pelvis, arms, and legs.
Importance Of Bone Cancer Awareness Month
Bone Cancer Awareness Month is an important initiative that aims to shed light on the often overlooked and under-discussed condition of bone cancer. Sarcoma and other types of bone cancer are classified as the "forgotten cancer" due to their rarity and lack of awareness. During the month of July, organizations like CanCare encourage individuals to show their support and participate in raising awareness for this type of cancer.
By raising awareness, Bone Cancer Awareness Month aims to educate the public about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for bone cancer, as well as provide emotional support for those affected. Participating in this month-long campaign can help create a sense of community, provide resources for patients and their families, and contribute to early detection and improved outcomes for individuals diagnosed with bone cancer. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by this rare form of cancer.
Significance Of Bone Cancer Awareness Ribbon And Colors
The significance of bone cancer awareness ribbons and colors lies in their ability to raise awareness about bone cancer and show support for individuals facing a bone cancer diagnosis. The yellow ribbon is the designated symbol for bone cancer and sarcoma awareness. Wearing a yellow ribbon helps spread awareness, fosters a sense of solidarity among bone cancer survivors and their caregivers, and encourages fundraising events.
The yellow ribbon serves as a visible reminder of the challenges faced by those affected by bone cancer and promotes understanding and support from the community. Additionally, the designation of July as Bone Cancer Awareness Month provides an opportunity to focus efforts on education, fundraising, and promoting early detection and treatment of bone cancer. By wearing a yellow ribbon and participating in awareness campaigns, individuals contribute to the overall efforts of improving the lives of bone cancer patients and advocating for increased research and resources in the fight against bone cancer.
Understanding Bone Cancer Types
Bone cancer is a rare form of cancer that originates in the bone tissue and is derived from primitive mesenchymal cells. There are two main types of bone cancer: primary and secondary.
Primary Bone Cancer
Primary bone cancer refers to cancers that develop directly in the bones and is further classified into subtypes such as osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and Ewing sarcoma.
These primary bone cancers are often aggressive and predominantly occur in children and adolescents, with osteosarcoma being the most common type in this age group.
Secondary Bone Cancer
Secondary bone cancer, on the other hand, occurs when cancers originating in other parts of the body metastasize or spread to the bones.
Bone Cancer Statistics
Statistics on bone and soft tissue cancer incidence and survival rates provide valuable insights into the impact of these diseases. Bone cancer, including both primary and secondary types, accounts for less than 1% of all cancers. In 2023, it is estimated that there will be approximately 3,970 new cases of primary bone cancer diagnosed, with around 2,140 deaths from the disease. These numbers encompass both children and adults.
Survival rates for bone cancer can vary depending on factors such as the specific subtype, stage at diagnosis, and treatment received. The 5-year relative survival rate for primary bone cancers overall, based on SEER data from 2013 to 2019, is 68.9%. However, it's important to note that survival rates are estimates and individual outcomes may differ. Prompt diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and the involvement of an inter professional healthcare team are crucial in managing bone cancer and improving patient outcomes.
How to Participate in Bone Cancer Awareness Month
To participate in Bone Cancer Awareness Month, you can engage in several initiatives and activities aimed at raising awareness, supporting research, and providing emotional support. Here are some ways you can get involved:
Learn about bone cancer, its types, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options. Understanding the disease will help you spread accurate information and raise awareness effectively.
Consider joining organizations like CanCare that are actively involved in promoting bone cancer awareness and providing emotional support for bone cancer patients and their caregivers.
Participate in Local Events
Stay updated on local events, fundraisers, and campaigns related to bone cancer awareness. Attend seminars, workshops, or awareness programs organized by local hospitals, cancer centers, or advocacy groups. These events often provide opportunities to connect with healthcare professionals, survivors, and caregivers.
Consider organizing fundraisers to support bone cancer research and patient support programs. You can host events such as charity runs, walks, bike rides, or auctions to raise funds for organizations working in this field.
Utilize social media platforms, community bulletin boards, or local newspapers to share bone cancer-related information, statistics, and stories of survivors or those affected by the disease. This helps raise awareness among a wider audience.
Offer your time and skills to cancer support organizations like CanCare that provide emotional support for individuals with bone cancer. Volunteer opportunities may include providing emotional support, accompanying patients to appointments, or assisting with awareness campaigns.
Show your support for Bone Cancer Awareness Month by wearing a symbolic item, such as a ribbon, wristband, or clothing accessory. This can spark conversations and provide opportunities to discuss bone cancer and its impact.
If volunteering isn’t for you but you still want to help, you can donate to CanCare and still play a vital role in supporting others through their cancer journey!
Remember, Bone Cancer Awareness Month takes place in July. By actively participating and supporting initiatives during this month, you contribute to spreading awareness, raising funds, and supporting those affected by bone cancer.
Potential Causes of Bone Cancer
Scientists have not identified the cause of sarcoma, but most believe that certain syndromes or exposure to some harmful chemicals can increase the risk of sarcoma.
Genetic alterations can be related to a rare inherited genetic alteration within families but are usually random. Research is vital to uncovering the many things that remain unknown about bone cancer, which is why July has been designated as Bone Cancer Awareness Month to help spread the word and raise money for research.
Bone Cancer Treatments
Treatments vary and depend on the specific type of bone cancer a person may have, the current stage of cancer, their general health, and their personal preferences. Surgery, cryosurgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are the most common treatment options.
Despite medications existing to help ease possible side effects of treatment, treatments still prove a battle for those experiencing a bone cancer diagnosis. Therefore, it is crucial to offer a shoulder to lean on for those undergoing treatments and take July as an opportunity to raise awareness of what they have to endure.
Ways to Show Support
Showing support for individuals facing bone cancer or any type of cancer is important for providing emotional support and raising awareness. Here are some ways to show support:
Offering emotional support is crucial for individuals facing cancer. It involves being there for them, actively listening, and providing empathy and understanding. You can offer a shoulder to lean on, provide encouragement, and reassure them that they are not alone in their journey. Emotional support plays a significant role in reducing feelings of isolation and promoting mental well-being.
Engaging in Social Media Campaigns and Using Hashtags
Participating in social media campaigns related to bone cancer or cancer awareness in general can help spread the message and create a sense of unity. By sharing posts, stories, or articles about bone cancer, using relevant hashtags like #BoneCancerAwareness, and tagging relevant organizations, you can contribute to raising awareness and reaching a wider audience. Social media platforms provide a powerful tool to connect with others, share personal stories, and educate people about bone cancer.
Wearing Bone Cancer Awareness Ribbons and Colors
Ribbons are widely recognized symbols of support and solidarity for various types of cancers. Wearing a bone cancer awareness ribbon or displaying its colors helps raise awareness and shows support for individuals affected by bone cancer. The color associated with bone cancer awareness is yellow. By wearing a yellow ribbon or incorporating yellow into your attire, you can visually demonstrate your support for bone cancer awareness.
Supporting individuals with bone cancer goes beyond these actions. It's essential to educate yourself about the disease, its challenges, and available resources. Additionally, supporting cancer research, fundraising for organizations focused on bone cancer, and participating in local events or walks can further contribute to raising awareness and supporting those affected by bone cancer.
You or your loved ones do not have to go through a bone cancer diagnosis alone. At CanCare, we are a community of volunteer survivors and caregivers who provide emotional support and offer the strength and support you need during this difficult time.
Our goal is to connect those going through a cancer diagnosis in the Houston area with a survivor who has been in their position and can be a part of their support system and offer the experience of someone who has lived the cancer journey. So, if you are in Texas and need emotional support while facing cancer, call CanCare and get in touch with a survivor or caregiver volunteer today.