Bone cancer refers to the formation of a malignant tumor that invades and destroys normal bone tissue. Non-malignant tumors can also form in the bone, and while they do not spread or destroy bone tissue, they can create pressure on surrounding tissue. Benign tumors are more common than cancerous tumors and are usually surgically removed.
The Beverly Hills Cancer Center is proud to be on the forefront of bone cancer treatment. Los Angeles also has a constant rotation of clinical trials that are available to our bone cancer patients under the supervision of our specialized treatment team.
Primary Bone Cancer is Rare
The bones make up the framework that supports the body. Bone is a complex structure primarily composed of hard bone (osteoid tissue), cartilage, fibrous tissue and spongy tissue called bone marrow. Bone cancer can be either from a primary tumor or can also refer to cancer that has spread from another cancer, such as lung cancer or breast cancer. This is classified as a metastasized cancer. Primary bone cancer is very rare, accounting for only 0.2% of all cancers.
Cancer that has spread to the bones from another part of the body is identified according to the source of the cancer. When it moves to adjacent tissues, or metastasizes, these cancer cells retain the characteristics of the primary cancer and it is treated with the same drugs as the primary cancer. The treatment protocol is different when treating primary bone cancer tumors.
Common types of bone cancer
Primary bone cancers start in bone, muscle, or cartilage as well the supportive tissue surrounding the bones. The highly specialized diagnostic methods used at the Beverly Hills Cancer Center ensure that patients receive the most advanced bone cancer treatment available in Los Angeles. Identifying the type of bone cancer and further establishing the grade of the tumor is the basis for creating the most optimum bone cancer treatment available to our Los Angeles patients.
While there are several different tumor characteristics, bone cancer can generally be divided into three categories:
- Osteosarcoma –cancer that begins in the hard tissue of the bone. It is usually found in the knee and upper arm.
- Chondrosarcoma – cancer that begins in cartilage tissue. This is tissue that cushions the ends of the bones and lines the joints. This cancer is found in the pelvis, upper leg and shoulder.
- Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors (ESFT) – cancer that begins in bone but can also begin in the soft supporting tissues of the bone. These cancers are found in the spine, pelvis, arms and legs.
Signs & Symptoms
There are a number of symptoms that can be the result of bone cancer but these symptoms are also connected with many other medical conditions. Bone cancer treatment at our Los Angeles facility begins with thoroughly assessing the patient’s symptoms to determine the best method of reducing their effects.
Signs & Symptoms most commonly associated with bone cancer are:
- Pain in the affected bone which becomes increasingly constant
- Swelling around the painful area
- Fractures particularly in the spine and long bones of the arms and legs
- Numbness and tingling or weakness
- Weight loss and fatigue
- Spinal cord compression causing pain in the neck or back
- High blood calcium levels
Bone Cancer Treatment Los Angeles
Treatment for bone cancer is planned according to the type of tumor being targeted. Some tumors are resistant to radiation while others are resistant to chemotherapy. Others may be located in areas that create an unacceptable high risk for surgery.
The main treatments for bone cancer are surgery, including cryosurgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
The goal of the surgeon is to remove the entire tumor, including a thin margin of healthy tissue that is free of cancer cells. This is called obtaining a negative margin. Modern surgical techniques have greatly reduced the need for radical surgical methods, thus sparing healthy tissue. At the Beverly Hills Cancer Center, our surgeons are current on the most advanced conserving techniques for bone cancer treatment in Los Angeles. Reconstructive surgery may be needed to restore function but these advanced procedures make amputation necessary in only the most complicated cases.
Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill cancer cells. This method is used in cases where surgery isn’t possible due to the location of the tumor, such as in the skull or on the spine. Some tumors are treated using curettage to remove as much of the tumor as possible followed by cryosurgery.
Some bone cancer tumors respond well to anticancer drugs, which target and kill cancer cells. Often a combination of drugs is used to boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Some types of bone cancer do not respond well to chemotherapy. Chondrosarcoma, which is bone cancer originating in cartilage, does not respond well to chemotherapy and is treated with a combination of radiation and surgery. This method is also used to treat ESTF tumors.
Chondrosarcoma is often treated with a combination of surgery and radiation. Most surgical treatment of tumors is followed by a course of radiation therapy to reduce the risk that the tumor will return. This therapy is also used in cases where patients do not wish to undergo surgery.
Follow up Treatment
Bone cancer sometimes recurs in different areas or in the same area where a tumor was removed. It is important to schedule regular scans and blood tests so that any recurrence can be treated immediately.
At the Beverly Hills Cancer Center the doctors and medical professionals are focused on only one thing: the treatment of cancer. Using the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment, patients receive exceptional bone cancer treatment in Los Angeles. Our integrated approach ensures that patients receive the benefit of a multidisciplinary team working towards the same goal. Patient treatment is coordinated by multiple specialists, which makes it possible to implement complex treatments quickly and efficiently. We exist to help patients in their fight with cancer and strive to remain at the pinnacle of the latest bone cancer treatment options for our Los Angeles patients.
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To schedule an appointment, please call Beverly Hills Cancer Center in Beverly Hills, California at (877) 320-5131 or use our interactive Online Appointment Request Form.