Through cutting-edge technology and techniques, the UPMC Musculoskeletal Oncology program:
Our expertise and access to leading-edge research are just some of the reasons why hundreds of bone cancer patients come to us every year from across the region.
Our Musculoskeletal Oncology program has dedicated experts in the field of orthopaedic oncology or bone cancer treatment, as well as supporting services that span the entire field of orthopaedics and cancer care.
One of our greatest resources — UPMC Cancer Centers — works closely with the Orthopaedic Surgery Department to offer integrated treatment that combines the expertise of both departments.
To promote the best outcomes possible we have three dedicated orthopaedic oncologists who work hand in hand with a variety of other surgeons and other specialists in a team setting. These can include:
For patients with malignancies, we have access to a complete oncologic team, including chemotherapy and radiation oncology experts. All musculoskeletal tumor cases are discussed at our multidisciplinary meeting.Those with sarcomas receive coordinated care through the Sarcoma Specialty Clinic in collaboration with medical and radiation oncology specialists with specific expertise in sarcoma and musculoskeletal neoplasms.
In fact, UPMC is one of only 12 hospitals in the United States that has this kind of dedicated team.
And, with our open-door policy, we see all patients regardless of whether they are referred by another physician.
There are several types of bone cancers, but all bone cancers fall into two categories:
Symptoms depend on the location and size of the tumor.
Soft tissue tumors occur in the parts of the body that hold us together: muscles, fat, and connective tissues.
They usually present as a lump and can range from harmless lipomas or simple fatty tumo rs to dangerous sarcomas (cancers).
There are several different kinds of bone cancers. In musculoskeletal oncology, we also include certain cancers of the supporting or soft tissues.
Below is an overview of the types of bone cancers we commonly treat in the Musculoskeletal Oncology Division
Osteosarcoma is the most common cancer to come from the bone itself.
Who it affects
Ewing’s sarcoma is the second most common cancer to come from the bone itself.
Chondrosarcoma is the third most common cancer to come from the bone itself.
Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that come from the muscles and connective tissues.
Who they affect
Giant cell tumor (GCT) is a benign (noncancerous) tumor.
This is a common occurrence in advanced cancer. Patients with metastatic bone disease start with pain with activities that generally gets worse and affects sleep. Some patients can experience fractures.
Metastatic bone disease has spread from another site to the bone is the most common cancer of bone.
PVNS is a tumor that occurs in the joints themselves.
What it affects
Chordoma is a rare sarcoma (cancer)
The UPMC Musculoskeletal Oncology program uses the latest techniques to diagnose and treat cancerous and noncancerous bone and soft tissue tumors.
The right treatment starts with the right diagnosis, which is why we use advanced imaging technology and techniques to detect and confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer.
Before testing begins, a doctor will ask about symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
After this exam, your doctor may order one or more of the following diagnostic tests:
Treatment for bone cancer doesn’t always mean surgery.
Once a diagnosis of bone cancer is made, staging tests are performed to find out if the cancer has spread and to what extent.
We then develop a customized treatment plan, depending on the type, stage, and location of the cancer, as well as your overall health.
Treatment options may include:
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While many advanced cancers can spread to the bone, the American Cancer Society estimates that primary cancers of bones account for less than 0.2 percent of all cancers. Although relatively rare as compared to some other forms of cancer, bone cancer occurs when cancer cells—cells that divide without control or order—grow in the bone. When cancer cells divide in excess, the body accumulates more cells than are needed. These cells form a mass of tissue called a malignant or cancerous tumor.
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No one knows the main causes of bone cancer, but we do know that genetics play a major role in most cases. There are also certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing bone cancer, as well as risk factors for specific types of bone cancer. General bone cancer risk factors include:
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There are no specific symptoms of bone cancer. Symptoms depend on the location and size of the tumor. However, some symptoms are more common than others. In general, the symptoms of bone cancer may include:
Soft tissue tumors occur in the parts of the body that hold us together: muscles, fat, and connective tissues. Soft tissue tumors can range from harmless things, such as a lipoma or simple fatty tumor, to dangerous diseases such as soft tissue sarcomas (cancers). These tumors can occur throughout the body, but are most common in the thigh, buttock, abdomen, or calf.
Treatment of soft tissue tumors depends upon the exact type.
Benign, non-cancerous tumors such as lipomas often require no treatment, or may be simply removed surgically. Soft tissue sarcomas can be much more aggressive, and generally require surgery. Radiation therapy or even chemotherapy may be used for some of these tumors. P>
Soft tissue tumors usually present as a lump. This lump may or may not grow over time, but stability over months or years does not automatically guarantee that the tumor is not cancerous.
Counterintuitively, soft tissue tumors that hurt are more frequently not cancerous, and may represent a reaction to trauma or other inflammatory condition. Soft tissue sarcomas (cancers) rarely cause substantial pain, and instead are simply a painless lump that may or may no t grow.
There are several different kinds of bone cancers and cancers of the supporting or soft tissues. Some cancers are more common in children and others may occur later in life.
The main types of bone and soft tissue cancers we treat at the UPMC Musculoskeletal Oncology program are:
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