Bone Cancer Treatment

Bone cancer is a type of disease that develops in the skeletal system and destroys the tissues. It can also spread to distant organs such as lungs and liver etc. Usually the treatment for bone cancer is a surgery and it does have a good outlook following the early diagnosis and the management of it.


What are the types of bone cancer?

There are 2 main types, First is primary and the second one is secondary bone cancer. In the primary bone cancer, the cancer does develop in the cells of the bone and in the Secondary bone cancer , cancer develops at a different site and spread to bone.

In this article, we shall share with you symptoms, diagnosis and possible treatments for bone cancer.


What are the Symptoms of bone cancer?

No. 1 symptom for a person having bone cancer is persistent pain in the affected region. With the time passes, this pain gets from bad to worse and more continuous.


Some of the symptoms are mentioned below:

  • Swelling of affected area
  • Weak bones with higher risk of fractures
  • Unintentional loss of the body weight
  • Presence of a lump in the affected region


How is bone cancer diagnosed?

Your doctor may ask for some blood tests to rule out possible causes and later would refer you to a ORTHO-ONCO SPECIALIST (A Doctor who is specialist of bone cancer). A patient may require following tests for diagnosis of this disease-

  • Radionuclide bone scan: This shows whether cancer has spread to other bones or its limited to one area. This also identifies smaller areas of metastasized cancer which can’t be seen in an X ray.
  • CT scans: These can indicate the spread of the cancer.
  • MRI scan: This may provide outline of the tumor.
  • PET scan: This scan is very useful as it scans whole body to see the spread and location of the cancer.
  • X-rays: Bone cancer can be seen on most X-rays. In a chest X-ray also, it can be seen if spread to lungs.
  • Biopsy: For grading and staging a tumor and also for assessing whether it is begun or malignant(cancerous), Your treating doctor may request for a biopsy.

What is the treatment of Bone Cancer?

The type of treatment for a patient with bone cancer depends on several factors, some of them includes:

  • Type of bone cancer
  • Location in the body
  • Aggressiveness
  • Spread


There are number of approaches for treatment of a bone cancer.

Surgery for Bone Cancer:

The Surgery for bone cancer aims to remove the tumor and also some of the bone tissue that surrounds the tumor. This is the most common medical treatment for bone cancer.

There is a surgery called limb salvage surgery, in this procedure surgical intervention occurs without amputating the limb. However, for a patient to use this limb again, he/she may need to undergo a reconstructive surgery. The surgeon can take bone from some other part of the body to replace the lost bone or they may even fix an artificial bone.


Radiation Therapy;

RT is common in the treating many cancers. A Radiation Oncologist targets cancer cells with high-energy X-rays in order to destroy them. At times, a patient may receive radiation therapy along with a surgery. Patients who do not require surgery for bone cancer might also be taken up for radiation therapy treatment.

There is also application of Combination therapy in which radiation therapy is combined with another type of treatment. This can be more effective in some of the cases.



This involves use of medications to destroy the cancerous cells. Patients having Ewing sarcoma or new diagnosis of osteosarcoma usually get their treatment receiving chemotherapy. Your Doctor may also recommend (depending on the case) a combination of chemotherapy and the radiation therapy for better outcome of the treatment.


Targeted Therapy;

This treatment uses a medication which scientists have made to interact particularly with a molecules that causes growth of cancer cells.