Orthopedic Oncology

The orthopaedic oncology department of medical science deals with the treatment of both benign and malignant tumours of bones and soft tissues. Here we shall discuss the various types of cases treated by the orthopaedic oncology department and the different treatments offered by the orthopaedic oncology doctors.

Cancer has nowadays become a common ailment and with the advancement in medical technology, the treatment for this disease is finally possible. In advanced stages, however, the treatment might become difficult and the morbidity rate is higher, if diagnosed at the early stages, it can be efficiently treated and taken care for. The major concern with this disease is the mental state of the patient that fixates on negativity and thus one often takes wrong decisions when such a thing is suspected. Therefore it is important to highlight the fact that the cases with bones and soft tissues are the ones best treated and diagnosed by an orthopaedic oncologist.

Problems treated by Orthopaedic Oncologist:

1. Benign tumours, those which are non-cancerous: These are non-malignant, less serious forms of bone cancer
They can is divided into three categories by the orthopaedic oncology doctors, namely:

  • Chondroblastoma: This is the type that occurs in the cells of the cartilages and is most visible in children and young adults, thus the age group of 10 to 20 are quite susceptible to this condition.
  • Enchondroma: When benign tumours show up in the cartilage tissues of the femur, humerus, tibia or hand, it is known as enchondroma.
  • Giant cell tumour: This category of benign bone tumour is often dangerous as, although not cancerous, they grow too fast and cause massive destruction to the bones. This kind of tumour most commonly occurs near or around the knee region and demands a surgery as it is too aggressive. From ages 20 to 40 GCT is most common.

2. Cancer whose originated from a particular bone of the body: Although not very common, cancer originating in the bone can be treated well and is mostly curable.
These orthopaedic cancers are of the following types:

  • Osteosarcoma: This is the case that mostly occurs in the osteoblast cells, the ones that help the formation of bones. This mostly develops during the adolescent period and adolescent boys are even more affected by this condition of tumour which is malignant.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: The age group of 10 to 20 mostly suffers from this condition that impacts the bones on the pelvis, arms and thighbones region. Amputation in this case can be avoided nowadays with the development in orthopaedic surgeries and chemotherapy and it is a curable condition.
  • Chondrosarcoma: In this case, cancer develops in the bones and produces unusual cartilages which are malignant. The pelvis, arms and thighs are mostly affected by this type of bone cancer and chemotherapy has often failed to cure it. Surgical removal of the part is however recommended.

3. Cancer that originated somewhere else but had spread to the bones: Another situation where a patient gets an orthopaedic cancer is when cancer elsewhere in the body affects bones to the extent of a fracture.

Treatments for Orthopaedic Cancer

  • Benign Tumours are mild and often do not need much treatment to get rid of. In the case of benign tumours, one might observe a certain swell in the affected region, joint pain or a visibly swelled mass on the region. Sometimes a benign tumour may need small scale surgery to be removed completely but mostly keeping the symptoms and the tumour under regular observation works.
  • Cancers originating from specific human bone: Limb-sparing surgery is one of the most common treatments offered in case of bone cancer and has a record of curing almost 90 per cent of the cases.
  • Cancer spreading from other body part is suggested to be treated by chemotherapy, surgery or bisphosphonates targeting the place of origin specifically.