Having bone cancer can be devastating news to hear. Although less than 200,000 people are diagnosed with bone cancer each year, the people who have the unfortunate luck of being diagnosed have to go through choosing which treatment option they think is best for them and their specific bone cancer. The treatment options for bone cancer are based on the type of cancer that you have. There are three main types of bone cancer. They are osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma. With the information of which bone cancer you have on hand, treatment will also depend on the stage of cancer, your overall health and your personal preference.
The different bone cancers will respond to different treatments. Doctors can help guide you to which treatment option will be best for your specific type of cancer. Some cancers are treated with just surgery; some with surgery and chemotherapy; and others with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The combination of therapies really depends on a person’s specific type of bone cancer.
One option for bone cancer treatment is surgery. Surgery’s main goal is to remove the entirety of the bone cancer. This means that there is a special technique to remove the tumor in one single piece, along with a small portion of healthy tissue that surrounds it. There are three different types of surgery that are used in bone cancer treatment. The first type of surgery is intended to remove the cancer, but spare the limb. The surgeon may be able to spare the limb and remove the cancer if the cancer can be separated from the nerves and other tissues. Some of the bone will be removed. The surgeon will replace that part of the bone with other bone from another area of the body, with material from a bone bank, or with a special metal prosthesis.
The next type of surgery is for the cancer that does not affect the limbs. This is common surgery for bone cancer that does not occur in the arms or the legs. Surgeons can remove the bone and some surrounding tissue. They can also remove the cancer while preserving as much of the bone as possible.
The last type of surgery is surgery to remove a limb. This happens with bone cancers that are very large or located in a complicated point on the bone. This may require surgery to remove all or part of a limb. This procedure is becoming less and less common. You will most likely be able to be fitted with an artificial limb after surgery as to not disrupt your day to day life.
Chemotherapy is the next type of treatment that is used for people with bone cancer. This is a type of drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. This type of chemotherapy is most often given through a vein, and the medication travels throughout the body. Chemotherapy is often used in people who have bone cancer that has spread beyond the bone and to other areas of the body.
The last type of treatment that is used in bone cancer treatment is called radiation therapy. This type of treatment uses high-powered beams of energy. These kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is commonly given alongside chemotherapy before an operation. This increases the chance that there will not need to be an amputation. Radiation is also often used in people who cannot get all of their bone cancer removed with surgery. There may have been some cancer left behind from the surgery, and radiation therapy helps to get rid of it.
Bone cancer is not something that anyone wants to be diagnosed within their lifetime. Although it can be a difficult diagnosis to fathom, it is important to know that there are a lot of different treatment options that can be used in order to battle the bone cancer, and get rid of it once and for all.