Ways & How

how to treat bone cancer

how to treat bone cancer

Like any other cancer treatments, how to treat bone cancer is dependent on the type, stage, and aggressiveness of the disease. Standard cancer treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy may be combined to make the treatments more effective in controlling the disease. Since most of these treatments will be demanding to the body, the overall well-being of the person to be treated must be evaluated first. Age is a consideration as well as strength and endurance. Here are some details of the treatments for bone cancer:

  1. A thorough assessment will be made on the growth or extent of the cancer prior to any surgery. It may require removing part of the bone to save the rest as per the intentions of a limb salvage surgery. A bone graft or healthy bone tissue from another part of the body will be taken to replace the damaged bone section. If it’s not possible, a prosthesis or metal replacement will be used instead. Operating on a limb may be necessary when the cancer has spread to the bone tissues. Tumor removal only will not decrease the risk of recurring cancer.


  2. There are two major purposes why chemotherapy is done. First, to reduce the size of a tumor. Second, to destroy remaining cancer cells in the body after surgery.

  3. The size of sarcomas or malignant tumors can be reduced through radioactive means called radiotherapy. It can also eliminate cancerous cells left in the body after surgery just like chemotherapy. Resection is the kind of radiotherapy where a cancerous bone section is removed. This is commonly done in the rib area. It is a limb salvage surgery if the bone is operated on together with the tissues around it to prevent further cancer growth on these areas.

  4. Limb salvaging or limb sparing surgery has the same meaning. This is substituting the damaged bone with a piece of metal or a bone part taken from another healthy bone. The procedure will be more complicated when the transplanted bone part is taken from a donor. A more advanced medical facility is needed for this because it will require blood typing for both the patient and the donor so that the patient’s body will not reject the donated bone allograft.

  5. Amputation, meaning total removal, of an arm or leg is depressing for the patient. Sometimes doctors are forced to do this with the patient’s consent to desperately spare the life of the patient from the fast-spreading cancer. Prosthetic limbs will then be fitted with the help of specialists. Physical therapy sessions will be arranged for the patient to get used to the new sets of artificial limbs. It is difficult to accept for the affected person, but what is losing a limb when one’s life is spared or prolonged? This is something that we do not want to have happen to anyone, but if there’s still a desire to live, the patient is really left with no other choice.

Secondary treatments like metastasectomy are widely used for lung cancer but can also be implemented for bone cancers. This is a surgical procedure involving the removal of a cancerous part of the primary bone. This procedure is sensitive to the number of tumors, how large, and what they look like. That’s why they are limited to specific conditions such as an osteosarcoma. There are many details to consider on how to treat bone cancer. It is best to hear your doctor’s suggestions regarding the treatment plans, but make sure to get a second opinion to really understand the procedures that you are comfortable with.


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