Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Bone Tumor Treatment

The treatment for a bone tumor depends first on whether the tumor is cancerous, or non-cancerous. A sample of the tumor must be examined under a microscope, in order to identify the type of tumor, and whether the tumor is cancerous. Non-cancerous tumors may require surgery if they interrupt normal bone growth or function, or increase the risk for fracture.

Treatment of a non-cancerous bone tumor may include:

Treatment for a cancerous bone tumor depends on the type of cancer and if the cancer is primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer arises from the bone itself, whereas secondary bone cancer spreads from another organ to the bone. Treatment for secondary bone cancer depends on the type of cancer that has spread to the bone. Common cancers that spread to the bone include lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Treatment for primary bone cancer tumors may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy drugs kill rapidly growing cancer cells, while radiation therapy uses x-ray beams to destroy cancer cells. A course of radiation therapy and chemotherapy may require weeks or months.

Treatment for a cancerous bone tumor may include:

For more information:

Bone Tumor Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a bone tumor.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Bone Tumor Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat bone tumors:

Continue to Bone Tumor Home Care

Last Updated: May 12, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bone Tumor References
  1. Bahk WJ, Mirra JM. Pseudoanaplastic tumors of bone. Skeletal Radiol. 2004 Nov;33(11):641-8. [15365783]
  2. Westhovens R, Dequeker J. Musculoskeletal manifestations of benign and malignant tumors of bone. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2003 Jan;15(1):70-5. [12496513]
  3. Witt J. Management of osteoid osteoma. Hosp Med. 2002 Apr;63(4):207-9. [11995269]
  4. Zileli M, Cagli S, Basdemir G, Ersahin Y. Osteoid osteomas and osteoblastomas of the spine. Neurosurg Focus. 2003 Nov 15;15(5):E5. [15323462]
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