Bone Sarcoma

What is Bone Sarcoma? 

Bone sarcomas are rare and aggressive cancers that can occur in both children and adults. While they can originate from any bone in the body, bone sarcomas most commonly occur in the legs, pelvis and upper arm. Based upon bone sarcomas’ biologic behavior, origin and microscopic appearance, they are classified into multiple different types which helps to guide treatment and prognosis. 

Sarcoma Symptoms

Bone pain is the most common symptom. The pain is typically deep, aching and occurs while people are at rest, trying sleep and may even awaken someone from their sleep. 

How are bone sarcomas diagnosed? 

The diagnosis begins with an x-ray of the painful area. An MRI is then required to better define the extent of the disease locally. Lastly, a biopsy, a sample of tissue, must be obtained and evaluated by a pathologist in order to establish the diagnosis. Additional tests, such as CT and bone scans may be required to assess the extent of disease and determine if the sarcoma has spread to other sites in the body. 

Treatment 

Due to the rarity and aggressive nature of bone sarcomas it is critical to obtain care at an institution with a collaborative multidisciplinary team of experts in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of bone sarcomas. While surgery remains the cornerstone of treatment, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy are often used to increase cure rates, prevent the spread of disease and treat disease once it has spread. Contemporary surgical techniques focus on limb-sparing surgery in order to eradicate the sarcoma and optimize patients’ function following surgery with the use of bone and joint replacement prostheses.

To make an appointment with one of our Orthopaedic Oncologists, please call 410-448-6400.