Osteofibrous dysplasia is a rare bone tumor that mostly occurs in the shinbone (tibia). It usually develops during childhood and is a noncancerous tumor.
Since it doesn’t spread to other areas of the body, thus a careful observation of time is enough to cure cancer.
Besides this, two more tumors are similar to osteofibrous dysplasia. These include adamantinoma and an OFD-like adamantinoma. These tumors have a common location, occur at the same age, and appear similar in microscope or X-rays.
It is not clear what causes Osteofibrous dysplasia. Furthermore, there is no clear research that indicates a connection between the tumor and other risk factors. Thus, the risk factors like exposure to radiation, chemicals, or other activities have no apparent clear role.
How to say if you have osteofibrous dysplasia?
In most of the cases, the patients suffering from osteofibrous dysplasia show no clear signs and symptoms. You may detect this tumor upon testing for some other issue. Thus, an X-ray may help you find your tumor accidentally.
However, when symptoms are present, they tend to be different among different individuals. Thus, one of the most common signs may be pain in the area where a tumor is present.
In addition to this, you may develop swelling at the site of the tumor. Your bones may break because of a tumor as it weakens the bone. Further, deformation of the lower leg may occur if the tumor develops in the tibia. The bones may curve or bow down due to this.
How does your doctor examine the tumor?
Your doctor will ask for your symptoms to get an idea about your tumor. Therefore, your doctor will try to know about your general health before performing a physical examination upon you.
Your doctor will look for various physical signs in your body during a physical examination. He/she will look for swelling, tenderness over the bone, or any mass in the area of your pain.
The signs and symptoms of this cancer are the same as that of other similar tumors in humans. Your doctor will make an accurate diagnosis by distinguishing between different tumors.
X-rays. These tests are very helpful in detecting bone cancers as they form clear images of dense structures like bone. Moreover, on an x-ray different tumors show different characteristics.
For instance, very obvious borders are present in osteofibrous dysplasia. They may look like several smaller areas of a tumor or a single big one.
Other imaging tests. To further evaluate the tumor, your doctor may recommend other imaging tests. Tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, bone scans, or computed tomography (CT) scans help evaluate the tumor further.
These tests are helpful n providing more detail about softer tissues. Thus, more detailed images help your doctor to understand the tumor in a better way. Further, these tests give cross-sectional images of the tumor.
Your doctor will be able to see the structure of your tumor more precisely by using a CT scan or MRI. Further, they will show your doctor the specific characteristics of cancer. For instance, your doctor will be able to see if the tumor is present in areas other than the signs.
Biopsy. It is the ultimate test that will help your doctor confirm cancer. In this test, your doctor will remove a part of the tumor and examine the cells under a microscope.
It needs careful planning by the medical team to determine the type of biopsy needed and determining how a doctor should perform it.
A doctor should perform the biopsy in a way so that it doesn’t interfere with future surgery to eliminate cancer. That’s why you should ask your doctor to refer a team of experts with extensive experience. They will help you treat cancer before the biopsy.
However, your doctor will take special care while performing a biopsy, as it might become more difficult to remove the tumor during a later operation.
Nonsurgical Treatment. Since osteofibrous dysplasia is not a cancerous tumor, therefore the tumor doesn’t grow. Thus, your doctor will just observe the tumor regularly as a part of treatment.
Your doctor will use X-rays to regularly monitor your tumor. This may after every few months. Your healthcare professional may recommend you to wear a brace if the cancer is weakening the bones. Otherwise, it may result in a fracture. Thus, it doesn’t let the bone to break due to stress.
In case, the tumor grows much and leads to deformities in bones, then surgery might be a solution. Your doctor will use surgery to remove the cancerous bone. This can eliminate the tumor at once and stabilize a bone.
What type of surgery your doctor will recommend for you depends upon the location of your tumor.
Limb salvage surgery is a suitable option for most osteofibrous dysplasia. In this technique, your doctor will remove cancer and replace or reconstruct the affected bone.
A small percentage of chondrosarcomas may also require amputation. Your doctor will choose this option when your tumor involves blood vessels, major nerves, or is very large. Thus, removal of the tumor becomes necessary under these conditions and may even destroy the function of the limb.
After surgery, most of the patients return to their normal life after 3 to 6 months. However, many factors influence the recovery of patients. These factors include the size of osteofibrous dysplasia, how quickly bones of a patient heal, and the type of bone graft that your doctor uses.
You should regularly visit your doctor and have an x-ray regularly. This way you can make sure if the tumor does not come or grow back.
The treatment in the patients works well. This is because the tumor not so much aggressive and responds well to the drugs. Cancer will rarely recur if your doctor performs surgery. Furthermore, they do not become cancerous or resolves with skeletal maturity.
Coping and support
When you get diagnosed with osteofibrous dysplasia, 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 osteofibrous dysplasia to make decisions about control and care:
Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to osteofibrous dysplasia. 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 osteofibrous dysplasia.
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 osteofibrous dysplasia.
A team of specialists typically can treat osteofibrous dysplasia. For instance;
Orthopedic 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?