Treatment for bone cancer

There are many different types of treatment for bone cancer. Your treatment will depend on you and your cancer.


Treatment for bone cancer (also known as bone sarcoma) depends on a number of factors including, the grade, type, location and size of the cancer as well your individual medical history, symptoms and personal preferences for treatment.

Types of treatment

The main treatment options for bone cancers include:

  • Surgery – depending on where the tumour is located, surgery can be used to remove the tumour and some of the healthy tissue surrounding it.
  • Chemotherapy – uses specialist drugs that destroy cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy – uses radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells. Radiation can be used to treat bone cancers in people where surgery isn’t suitable, for example in areas of the body where it is difficult to treat or in people who are not healthy enough to have surgery. It can be used before surgery to help shrink the tumour or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. It can also be used to help ease symptoms of bone cancer when it has spread (known as palliative radiation).
  • Targeted therapy – aims to destroy only cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells intact.

Osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma can be treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiotherapy. Chondrosarcoma is usually treated with surgery alone.

References

For a full list of references, click here.
  1. Cancer Australia. (2018). Sarcoma fact sheet. Retrieved on 20 July 2020 from https://canceraustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/sarcoma-fact-sheet/pdf/sar_sarcoma_factsheet_0.pdf
  2. Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association. (2020). What is Sarcoma? Retrieved on 20 July 2020 from https://sarcoma.org.au/pages/about-sarcoma/what-is-sarcoma
  3. American Cancer Society. (2018). Bone Cancer. Retrieved on 20 July 2020 from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/bone-cancer/about/what-is-bone-cancer.html
  4. Cancer.Net. (2018). Bone Cancer: Symptoms and Signs. Retrieved on 20 July 2020 from https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bone-cancer/symptoms-and-signs
  5. National Cancer Institute. (2020). Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Retrieved on 20 July 2020 from https://www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/patient/adult-soft-tissue-treatment-pdq#_26

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