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Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone cancer. Cancer may form in the bone or spread to the bone from another site in the body.
When cancer starts in bone tissue, it is called primary bone cancer. When cancer cells travel to the bone from elsewhere, it is called secondary or metastatic bone cancer.
Symptoms of osteosarcoma can include deep bone pain, swelling or lumps, and fatigue.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for osteosarcoma of the skull base is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about any symptoms you are experiencing.
Symptoms may include:
Your doctor also will want to run various tests to confirm the diagnosis of osteosarcoma.
Those tests will include:
The sooner osteosarcoma is found and treated, the more favorable the outcome. Once the tumor is found, staging tests are performed to find out if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what extent.
Treatment depends on:
UPMC's neurosurgical team may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches to treat osteosarcoma.
Surgery for osteosarcomas involves the removal of the cancerous tumor and nearby tissues.
Osteosarcomas of the skull base may be approached directly using Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the osteosarcoma through the nose and nasal cavities.
EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.
If you need complementary treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, those therapies can begin soon after EEA surgery.
At UPMC, we look at your condition from every direction to find the path that is least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and your ability to return to normal functioning. We aim to maximize the benefits of surgery while minimizing risks.
Chemotherapy given before and after surgery will often cure osteosarcoma.
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