17 January 2022, Monday

What Is the Role of Surgery in the Treatment of Bone Sarcoma?

role-surgery-in-bone-sarcoma

Surgery has a very important role in the management of bone sarcomas. Without surgery, most of these diseases would start growing again, soon after the radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy treatment is over. In fact, in some types of bone sarcomas, surgical Wide Excision is the only way to treat the disease.

The goal of surgery is to remove cancer affected bone in such a way that cancer does not come back again in the operated area. ‘Limb Salvage Surgery’ has established itself as the standard of care in the management of extremity bone sarcomas.

Surgery has a very important role in the management of bone sarcomas. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, either alone or together, is not enough to treat primary bone cancers (except in certain specific situations).

Without surgery, most of these diseases would start growing again, soon after the radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy treatment is over. In fact, in some types of bone sarcomas, surgical Wide Excision is the only way to treat the disease.

The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer affected bone in such a way that the cancer does not come back again in the operated area.

Until a few years ago, this actually meant an amputation (surgical removal of the affected limb at an appropriate level) in most of these cases.

However, in the past several years, this scenario has changed radically as Limb Salvage Surgery has established itself as the standard of care in the management of extremity bone sarcomas in our country.

The problem with surgery for bone sarcomas is that, the removal of the bone tumor creates a defect in the operated bone, which needs to be repaired or reconstructed, to restore in the best possible way, the structural continuity, strength and the function of the skeletal system.

Furthermore, a majority of the primary bone tumors are found close to a joint, which means that the joint function is also lost with the removal of the tumor.

Very obviously, the role of surgery in the management of bone sarcomas does not end with just the proper removal of the tumor, but also extends to the restoration of the integrity of the affected bone and joint.

The availability of, advanced diagnostic and imaging modalities like MRI, effective chemotherapy, radiotherapy, good quality affordable tumor prosthesis (metallic devices to replace surgically removed tumor affected bones and joints), allografts (donated human bone from a tissue bank), advanced surgical techniques and a multi-disciplinary surgical team, etc. has now made it possible to save the limb in almost 80-85% of these patients, without compromising the overall cancer treatment.

Further Reads:

1.  What is the Cancer Biopsy?

2.  What is the Cancer Grading?

3.  What is the Cancer Staging?

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    Dr. Chetan Anchan

    MS - Orthopaedics, Diploma in Orthopaedics,

    FCPS - Mid. & Gynae, MBBS

    About Author - Dr. Chetan Anchan is an expert and well known orthopaedic surgeon and oncologist from Mumbai. He has a vast experience in treating all types of Malignant and Benign, Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors, and Skeletal Metastases.

    To book an appointment, call: +91 – 93244 27302

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