Orthopedic Oncology Treatments
Our orthopedic oncology department diagnoses and treats tumors that develop or spread onto the bone from other cancerous areas. Some of these tumors include Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma and other metastatic tumors of the musculoskeletal system. Our experienced team of doctors can help diagnose and treat these tumors, providing specialized knowledge and support along the way.
Tumors of the bone and surrounding soft tissue may be benign tumors that form as a developmental abnormality or as a result of trauma, many of which do not require treatment. The most common benign bone tumors are:
- Giant cell tumor
- Osteoid osteoma
- Fibrous dysplasia
Some of these tumors do not need to be treated and can simply be monitored via X-ray until they go away on their own. Others may be treated with medication or may be excised to reduce the risk of spreading. Having one or more benign bone tumors puts patients at a higher risk for developing a cancerous bone tumor, so it is important to monitor them frequently and carefully.
Cancerous or malignant bone tumors are much more serious and require more complex treatment to completely remove the cancer and stop it from spreading any further. Bone tumors may be primary, meaning they developed in the bone, or metastatic, meaning they originated somewhere else in the body and have now spread to the bone.
Primary bone tumors are rare, only affecting about 2,500 people in the US each year. They can affect people of all ages and be found in all areas of the body. The cause is unknown. The most common types of primary bone tumors are:
- Multiple Myeloma – Tumor of bone marrow that most commonly affects people between the ages of 50 and 70 years old and can be found anywhere in the body.
- Osteosarcoma - This tumor is most commonly found in the knee, and also occurs in the hip and shoulder. It is most frequently found in people aged 10-25.
- Ewing’s sarcoma – Ewing’s sarcoma is most common between the ages of 5 and 20, and is usually found in the upper and lower leg, pelvis, upper arm and ribs.
- Chondrosarcoma - This tumor most frequently affects people between 40 and 70 and is found in the hip, pelvis or shoulder.
Metastatic tumors are much more common and most frequently come from cancer in the breast, lung, prostate, kidney or colon. These cancers can spread to any bone in the body, although they do not normally reach the extremities.
Treatment for bone tumors varies depending on the type, size and location, but often includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Radiation therapy is usually most effective in treating bone tumors. Surgery can not only remove the tumor, but also stabilize the bone to prevent fractures and other injuries. While the main goal of treatment is to remove the tumor, it is also important to preserve the surrounding bone tissue. Loss of bone tissue can result in painful, weakened bones that will lead to future problems. At Stony Brook Orthopaedics, our doctors provide a personalized treatment method, complete with proper anesthesiology assistance if needed.
Bone tumors are often discovered as a hardened lump on the bone which eventually becomes painful. Any pain in the bone should be reported to your doctor and checked for a tumor. Our orthopedic oncology department is highly experienced in handling tumors of the bone from their formation all the way through treatment. Call us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.