Bone Cancer

A patient and doctor discuss bone cancer treatment results at Baptist Sarcoma Center

What is bone cancer?

True bone cancers are sarcomas. Sarcomas can develop anywhere in the body in both soft tissue and bones. Osteosarcomas originate in the bone cells and are the most common bone cancers; they occur mostly in people who are 10 to 30 years old. Chondrosarcomas are the cancer of cartilage cells. They are rare in people under age 20 and are the second most common form of bone cancer.

Most cancers that affect bones are actually metastatic cancers that have spread to the skeletal system instead of originating there. These cancers will need to be treated based on their starting point and will not be treated as bone cancer. These include leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma.

Other types of bone cancers include:

  • Ewing tumors
  • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Giant cell tumor of bone
  • Chordoma

What are bone cancer signs and symptoms?

Bone pain is the most common sign of bone cancer, and as the tumor grows, the pain can become more persistent. Swelling, fractures and decreased mobility are also signs and symptoms of bone cancer.

What are bone cancer causes and risk factors?

Environmental factors, such as exposure to radiation, can have an effect on a person developing bone cancer. Some genetic disorders are also considered bone cancer risk factors .

Genetic disorder risk factors include:

  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Rothmund-Thomson syndrome
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Paget disease

How is bone cancer diagnosed?

To diagnose bone cancer, your physician will use a variety of tests including biopsies, imaging tests and blood tests. If possible, it is best to have a biopsy to diagnose bone cancer at the same place you expect to receive treatment. It is essential to go to a specialized cancer center that has experience in osteosarcoma biopsy.

If the biopsy is done incorrectly, it may make it more difficult later for the surgeon to remove all of the cancer without having to also remove all or part of the arm or leg with the tumor. A biopsy that is not done correctly may cause the cancer to spread. A patient's symptoms and family history will also be taken into consideration when forming a diagnosis.

What are bone cancer treatment options?

The treatment of bone cancer will depend on the type and stage of the bone cancer as well as your lifestyle and treatment preferences. Bone cancer treatment plans may include surgeryradiation and chemotherapy.

Baptist Sarcoma Center

The Sarcoma Center at Baptist Cancer Center treats more adult osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, patients than any other cancer center in the region. In fact, we are one of the few teams in the nation devoted to bone cancer. Our experience and expertise help us produce outstanding outcomes.

As the region's leading cancer center, we constantly work to discover new treatments and innovations. We offer:

  • Embolization for localized unresectable giant cell tumor of bone
  • Activity of interferon in metastatic giant cell tumor of bone
  • Limb-sparing surgery to help save arms and legs
  • Targeting a cell receptor known to play a part in the spread of cancer to the bones may enable chemotherapy drugs to be delivered directly to the cells

We bring together a team of experts that includes specialists from many areas to give you personal, customized care. They focus their full attention on you, communicating and collaborating with each other and you to ensure carefully coordinated care. We use specialized therapies and technologies to en sure you receive the most advanced treatment with the least impact on your body.

Your care begins with our expertise. Learn more about our cancer services now.

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