Dr. Templeton recalls the risk factors associated with bone cancer.
The risk factors, again, depend on what type of bone cancer that you are looking at. If it is a secondary type or, again, a metastasis, the risk of having that show up, the risk of developing that is the same as the risk factors of developing any of the other primary tumors. So it is the same as the risk factor for having breast cancer or lung cancer or kidney cancer; all of those eventually can spread to bone.
If it is a primary bone cancer, so a cancer starting off in the bone, again, those are mostly in kids. At this point, we really don’t know what the risk factors are. We don’t know what causes it. There are a few genetic syndromes that we know about, but not very many, as actually just one in particular for one specific type of bone cancer.
So unlike things such as breast cancer where we know that for some patients there is a good, there’s a genetic correlation, there is a gene that you can follow through families that put people at risk, for bone cancers in kids, we really haven’t picked up on that, and that’s a problem because we don’t really know how to test for that. There really isn’t anything environmentally that a child is exposed to or did do or didn’t do that puts him at risk of cancer.
When you look at bone cancer in adults, the most common type, again, we don’t know what the risk is of developing it. There is some less common types that we know that there are some risk factors such as having prior radiation. If you’ve had another type of cancer and you’ve had radiation, several years down the road you’re at slightly increased risk of developing bone cancer. The risk is still very small, but it’s there. Having other types of diseases, again, very rare diseases such as Patchett’s disease, a rare disease, even rarer chance of developing bone cancer because of that.
So, unlike other types of cancers where we’ve got a good idea what can cause it, for bone cancer, we don’t have that yet.
About Dr. Kim Templeton, M.D.:
Kim Templeton, M.D., received her degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine with a specialty in orthopedics and musculoskeletal oncology and began her career with an orthopedic residency at Chicago's Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center.
She then accepted a Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In 1995, she came to the KU School of Medicine, where her commitment to excellence and orthopedic education has opened the way to positions of leadership. She is now the Director of the Orthopedic Residency Education Program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, holds the first Joy McCann Professorship for Women in Medicine and Science, and currently serves as president of the KU Medical Center's Women in Medicine and Science program.