Fewer than 3,000 cases of primary bone cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. A bone tumor can be cancerous or noncancerous (benign), though most are noncancerous. A primary bone cancer is one that originates in the bone, which is far less common than cancer that’s spread to the bone from other parts of the body.
Primary bone cancers, called sarcomas, can grow from bone, cartilage, fatty tissue, fibrous tissue, or muscle or nerve tissue. Types of bone cancer include:
- Osteosarcoma – The most common type of bone cancer, most frequently affecting the upper arm or knee. It occurs most often in children and teens.
- Chondrosarcoma – Develops most often in the hips and pelvic bones, but may occur in any bone. Adults are most likely to get this type of bone cancer.
- Chordoma – Occurs at the base of the skull or the bottom of the spine. This type of cancer is also more common in adults.
- Ewing sarcoma – Can affect any bone, but most commonly in the thigh, pelvis or chest wall. It occurs most often in children and teens.
El Camino Health’s cancer program brings together a team of doctors chosen for their superior educational background, specialty training and proven expertise. They understand the toll cancer takes on you physically, mentally and emotionally.
Our doctors often see new patients within 48 hours of diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. Experienced surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists work together to create a personalized treatment plan for you. Our team of cancer care professionals deliver expert, compassionate care and support for people with bone cancer.
Symptoms and Early Detection
The best way to ensure early detection is to see your doctor if you notice any symptoms.
The most common symptom of bone cancer is pain in the affected bone, which increases as the cancer grows. Other symptoms include swelling at the site, fracture if the bone has been weakened by the cancer, or tingling, numbness and weakness if the tumor is pressing on a nerve.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors at El Camino Health use imaging exams such as X-ray, CT and MRI to diagnose bone cancer.
Our multidisciplinary team tailors a treatment plan to your unique situation, using one or more approaches. Because bone cancer can come back after treatment, regular follow-up visits are important.
Surgery is often the main treatment for bone cancer. Our surgeons are skilled at removing bone tumors to reduce the chance of the cancer returning.
Our radiation oncologists use external-beam radiation to treat bone cancer, including highly sophisticated CyberKnife® robotic radiosurgery and RapidArc® technology. These methods send radiation beams with submillimeter precision, which allows higher doses in fewer treatment sessions than with traditional radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to destroy cancerous cells. At El Camino Health Cancer Center, we treat both bone cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy aggressively. We provide anti-nausea and pain medication, as well as intravenous hydration, to minimize discomfort. By managing your symptoms, we can ensure treatment stays on course for maximum effectiveness.
In addition, El Camino Health offers a variety of specialized services, support and assistance to address the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of you and your family members during cancer treatment and recovery.
The El Camino Health Cancer Center works with other medical centers and the National Cancer Institute to offer you the opportunity to participate in ongoing clinical trials. Ask your doctor if a clinical trial is right for you.