Bone Cancer Treatment Options
Treatment plans are designed to meet the exclusive needs of each person with bone cancer. The whole procedure is based on the type, stage, size, location of the tumour and possibility to treat partially or completely. Patient’s age and overall health also matters a lot. Treatment options for bone cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and cryosurgery.
Surgery is primary method which is used to remove the bone tumour and some of the nearby normal tissue. The amount of tissue removed depends on the location and stage of the bone cancer.
The surgeon removes the entire tumour with negative margins (no cancer cells are found at the edge or border of the tissue removed during surgery). A wide margin of normal bone and tissue surrounding the tumour will be removed, but the exact amount removed is difficult to define. The surgeon may also use special surgical techniques to minimize the amount of healthy tissue removed with the tumour.
Any tissue near the bone biopsy site is also removed along with the tumour because cancer cells may be present in this area. This type of surgery may also be called a wide excision or en bloc resection.
Surgery to treat bone cancer is used with the following goal:
possible cure achievement by totally removing the tumour
take out maximum possible tumour prior to other therapies
treat recurrent bone cancer
remove a tumour that has spread to the lung
reconstruct the bone to restore the structure and function of the bone
The following are surgery treatment types for bone cancer:
Resection is the medical term for surgically removing part or all of a tissue, structure, or organ. A resection may be performed for a wide variety of reasons. A resection may remove a tissue that is known to be cancerous and the surgery may treat or cure the same.
Surgical Treatment for Bone Metastases Removal
The lungs are the most common site of distant spread for bone cancer. To be able to cure a bone cancer, any existing metastases must be removed completelywith surgery. This must be planned very carefully. Before the operation, the surgeon will consider the number of tumors, their location (one lung or both lungs), their size, and the person’s general condition.
Removing all the lung metastases is probably the only chance for a cure. However, not all lung metastases can be removed. Some tumours are too big or are too close to important structures in the chest (such as large blood vessels) to be removed safely. People whose general condition is not good (due to poor nutritional status or problems with the heart, liver, or kidneys) may not be able to withstand the stress of anaesthesia and surgery to remove metastases.
This signifies removing the cancerous tumour through surgery, but not the arm or leg. Surgery for bone cancer that occurs in a limb may involve limb-sparing (limb-salvage) surgery which is a very complex procedure that involves removing the cancer but not the arm or leg. Many people with bone cancer in an arm or leg can be successfully treated with limb-sparing surgery. However, most patients who undergo limb-sparing surgery need reconstructive surgery to maximize limb function.
During the operation, the surgeon removes the entire tumour while trying to preserve nearby tendons, nerves and blood vessels to keep as much normal function of the arm or leg as possible. Any tissue near a bone biopsy site is removed along with the tumour because cancer cells may be present in this area.
limb-sparing surgery may not be possible if the bone tumour is large and the cancer has spread to important nerves or blood vessels.