Delta Medix Patient General Information

Bone and Tissue Cancer

Primary bone cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue. Some types of primary bone cancer are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and chondrosarcoma. Secondary bone cancer is cancer that spreads to the bone from another part of the body (such as breast, lung, or prostate), and it is named for the organ or tissue in which it began. Primary bone cancer is far less common than cancer that spreads to the bones, and accounts for less than one percent of all cancers.

Soft tissue sarcomas are cancerous tumors that develop in tissues that connect, support, or surround other structures and organs of the body. Theses tumors are usually named for the type of tissue in which they begin.

Common types of bone cancer include

  • Osteosarcoma, which arises from osteoid tissue in the bone. This tumor occurs most often in the knee and upper arm.
  • Chondrosarcoma, which begins in cartilaginous tissue, padding the ends of bones and lining the joints. This tumor occurs most often in the pelvis, upper leg, and shoulder.
  • The Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors usually occurs in bone but may also arise in soft tissue (muscle, fat, and blood vessels). This tumor occurs most commonly along the spine and pelvis and in the legs and arms.

Examples of soft tissue sarcomas

  • Fibrosarcoma, Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma, begins in fibrous tissue (tissue that holds bones, muscles, and organs in place).
  • Liposarcoma, begins in fatty tissue.
  • Leiomyosarcoma, originates in smooth muscle.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, begins in skeletal muscle.

Treatment Options for Bone and Soft Tissue Cancers

  • Surgery is the usual treatment for bone and soft tissue cancer. The surgeon removes the entire tumor with negative margins (no cancer cells are found at the edge or border of the tissue removed during surgery).
  • Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Patients who have bone cancer may receive a combination of anticancer drugs.
  • Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. This treatment may be used in combination with surgery, or may be used alone for patients who refuse surgery.
  • Cryosurgery is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill cancer cells. This technique can sometimes be used instead of conventional surgery to destroy the tumor.