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Bone cancer

Bone cancer, also called skeletal cancer, is a rare cancer that begins in the cells of your bones. You may need blood tests and imaging studies to diagnose these cancers. Your treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Bone cancer care from empathetic specialists

Our musculoskeletal oncology teams offer sensitive treatment throughout your bone cancer journey.

In Western North Carolina, Mission Health's bone cancer care teams diagnose and treat tumors in both children and adults. We manage limb tumors, including cancers in the pelvis and shoulder girdle.

Types of bone cancers we treat

Our orthopedic oncologists understand the impact of cancer on your life, and are equipped to treat conditions associated with bone cancers, such as:

  • Aneurysmal bone cyst
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Bone pain
  • Chondroblastoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Enchondroma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma
  • Fibroma
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Fibroxanthoma (non-ossifying fibroma)
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Giant cell tumor
  • Hemangioma
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Lipoma
  • Liposarcoma
  • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myxofibrosarcoma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Neurofibrosarcoma
  • Osteochondroma
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS)
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Unicameral (simple) bone cyst

Our musculoskeletal oncology program

In our network, sensitive oncology teams offer personalized treatment for your bone cancer. We deliver care that gives you the support you deserve.

Types of bone tumors we treat

Our highly-trained specialists personalize their care based on your overall health and type of tumor. Tumors we treat include:

  • Benign bone tumors — There are many kinds of benign bone tumors, as well as metabolic diseases that mimic bone tumors. Treatment for each type of tumor may be different, as some require surgery, while others merely require observation.
  • Malignant bone tumors (bone sarcoma) — These type of bone tumors frequently present with pain. Usually described as an ache, this pain worsens at rest, at night or with activity. In almost all cases, malignant bone tumors will be treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Our multidisciplinary teams work together to perform effective and well-rounded treatment.

Surgery for malignant bone tumors may lead to limb preservation surgery, where the tumor is removed. This allows our surgeons to leave some of the normal tissue, preserving the extremity. In rare circumstances, amputation may be necessary to remove the entire tumor.

Soft-tissue tumor care

These types of tumors affect musculoskeletal connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels. Our bone oncology experts offer a variety of treatments based on your specific type of tumor. These can include:

  • Benign soft-tissue tumors — These can form in skeletal muscle, fat, tendon, fibrous tissue, nerve and blood vessels. These tumors have little to no chance to spread. Most only need observation, whereas some tumors will need to be surgically removed.
  • Malignant soft-tissue sarcomas (STS) — These are more common than bone sarcomas, and usually occur in adults. Often painless, this type of cancer is commonly confused with the more common benign soft-tissue tumors. Because of this, it is common that the diagnosis of soft-tissue cancer is made after a presumed benign mass is removed. Treatments for this diagnosis includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and pain management.

Metastatic bone disease (MBD) care

MBD is the most common bone malignancy, occurring when cancer spreads from its original location to the skeleton. The skeleton is the third most common site for metastasis, with the lung and liver being more common.

Only 20 percent of those with MBD will have symptoms. As a result, physicians need to routinely follow up with you and check for signs of cancer. Your quality of life can be greatly affected if a metastatic lesion becomes large enough to cause a fracture. Therefore, involving a musculoskeletal oncologist helps maintain your health by stabilizing a bone before it fractures. They will work alongside your medical and radiation oncologists to prevent complications. It is crucial that you be evaluated by a musculoskeletal oncologist if you have a family history of cancer. No matter how remote the probability, seek medical attention if you are experiencing any unusual or new bone pain.

MBD care varies depending on the condition's severity. Treatment may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Supplementation
  • Surgery
  • Targeted therapy

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