Eosinophilic granuloma is a type of benign (non-cancerous) tumor that develops in bones. It is a very rare tumor. In this cancer, the overproduction of certain immune cells occurs in the body.
Furthermore, it is not clear what leads to this tumor. The treatment for this tumor varies from person to person. Some people may need only a mild treatment. While others need more complex treatment.
In such persons, cancer spreads to other bones and lymph nodes in the body. At the same time, some persons do not need treatment at all. In these cases, a doctor helps the patient to control the pain.
These tumors are very common in adolescents and children. Thus, 80 percent of cases are present in these. However, eosinophilic granuloma tends to occur at any age.
It is not exactly clear what causes eosinophilic granuloma. In some people, there may be a link between genetics and the tumor.
This cancer mainly affects Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). Overproduction of histiocytes occurs in this tumor. Histiocytes are a form of WBC’s.
An increase in several histiocytes results in an attack on the body’s cells. Due to this, lesions like eosinophilic granuloma form.
Furthermore, in about 50 percent of cases, genetic mutations within the genes in Langerhans cells occur. But parents do not inherit these mutations and cannot pass them on to their children.
In addition to this, inflammation, some types of LCH, and autoimmune diseases can increase your risk for eosinophilic granuloma. However, the exact cause for the eosinophilic granuloma is still not clear to researchers.
The most usual symptom of this cancer is a tender mass that grows continuously. Further, it is painful to touch this mass. However, some patients suffering from eosinophilic granuloma do not show any growth.
Moreover, eosinophilic granuloma can cause symptoms like;
Redness and rashes on the skin
Pain in the back
Cannot bear the weight
Besides this, there are other symptoms possible if the tumor spreads to other areas. In such cases, eosinophilic granuloma may put some extra pressure on your nerves.
Your doctor will order you for several tests to diagnose eosinophilic granuloma. These imaging and laboratory tests help your doctor to check for the markers present in the tumor. In this way, he/she can eliminate the tumor this way.
These image tests include CT scans or X-rays. However, these imaging tests may produce similar results to other conditions. Therefore, to confirm the tumor, your doctor will do a biopsy.
In tissue biopsy, your doctor takes a portion of the growing tissue. Then he/she tests it for the presence of specific markers. Therefore, to confirm an eosinophilic granuloma, your doctor may recommend a biopsy.
In many people, treatment is not necessary as the growth and symptoms of the eosinophilic granuloma in them stop naturally. However, no set time is there for this. For instance, some patients may suffer from the symptoms for a longer time than others.
Besides, to relieve the inflammation and pain, your doctor may prescribe you some injections. For instance, methylprednisolone (Medrol) may be a good choice in that case.
Your doctor may recommend surgery in certain cases. For instance, if the tumor is more severe and pushing or growing other organs, then surgery becomes necessary. It may even cause other serious complications, like pressing nerves.
However, in some cases, your doctor may recommend other treatments instead of surgery. For instance, if the tumor involves unreachable locations like the spine or other nerves, then it becomes quite difficult to remove them.
At that time, your doctor may use therapies like radiation therapy or chemotherapy. However, they may not be as effective as surgery.
Moreover, there is always a possibility of a recurrence. Still, many eosinophilic granulomas do not come back. As per research, tumors do not recur in almost 80 percent of the cases. Thus, it means that only 20 percent of cases show recurrence.
Eosinophilic granuloma cokes with certain complications. Although it doesn’t affect all patients, eosinophilic granulomas tend to spread to other parts.
They can spread to areas like lymph nodes and other bones. Thus, when the tumors spread to other bones, fractures may occur. In case the tumor is present in the spine, then vertebrae may collapse.
This may even put some extra pressure on the spinal column, causing complications. However, early treatment may help prevent such complications.
Coping and support
When you get diagnosed with eosinophilic granuloma, it could be frightening for you. The condition will be no different for your family.
However, you may learn to cope with the uncertainty and distress related to cancer with time. Thus, you need to follow these instructions until then;
Call on for medical support:
Various things are going to help you. For instance, the knowledge and understanding of a medical social worker, or any other mental health professional is necessary. They will help you in understanding your cancer.
Furthermore, if your child or other family member suffers from cancer, you need to ask health care professionals for advice. They will provide you with options for medical health support. This will also provide you with emotional and social support.
In addition to this, you can check various online services that will provide you support to combat cancer.
- Gain more knowledge about eosinophilic granuloma to make decisionsabout control and care:
Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to eosinophilic granuloma. Little knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, more confidence in understanding and making decisions about treatment options will be there with you. So you should always learn more about the disease.
Ask the health care team for guidance if your child has cancer. Therefore, get more and more information for appropriately caring for the patient.
Be close to your friends and family:
A close and strong relationship with your family and friends is necessary. It will help you deal with eosinophilic granuloma.
You need practical support, moral support from your friends and relatives. Thus, someone should be there for you to look after the family. Emotional support from them is going to matter most. Thus, a healthy and happy person will ultimately efficiently fight the disease.
Prepare for your appointment
You are likely to start making an appointment with your primary care doctor if some signs and symptoms worry you. Ask for a referral to an experienced specialist if your doctor suspects eosinophilic granuloma.
A team of specialists typically can treat. For instance;
Orthopedic eosinophilic granuloma surgeons or orthopedic oncologists who have specialization in operating bone cancers.
Doctors who have a specialization in treating cancers with systemic medications or chemotherapy.
Pathologists diagnose the specific type of cancer by analyzing a tissue.
Rehabilitation specialists who after surgery help in the recovery of a tumor.
What you should expect from your doctor:
You will face several questions from your doctor. Thus, you should be ready to answer these. So, give more time to your doctor to address them. Your doctor may ask;
What signs and symptoms concern you more?
Have your symptoms been occasional or continuous?
When did you start to notice the symptoms?
The severity of your symptoms?
Is there anything that improves your symptoms?
Is there anything that worsens your symptoms?
Do you have any family or personal history of cancer?