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Online CPR Certification Blog

An overview of bone cancer treatment

Sep
02

Date: September 2nd, 2014

The type of the bone cancer and its stage are the main determinants of the kind of treatment to be used. For instance, for primary bone cancer, which originates from the bone will get a different treatment from cancer which has metastasized or spread to other body parts. Bone cancer surgery may be provided alone or could be combined with radiation and chemo.

Bone cancer treatments: primary & metastatic

Surgery is usually used to treat primary bone cancers. The bone tumors are removed together with the surrounding muscle and bone to ensure that the cancer cells are cleared completely. Chemo or radiation therapy could also be used for killing any cancer cells, which could have escaped the scalpel of the surgeon. A different treatment is used for metastatic bone cancers. A tumor is treated depending on its origins.

Treatment for primary bone cancer

Different treatments are used depending on the type of bone cancer in question:

Osteosarcoma: This cancer tends to develop in osteoblast cells, which form the outside layers of the bone and are actually responsible for the growth of the new bone. A round of chemo may be availed for shrinking the tumor and then surgery follows for removing it. Follow-up chemo is necessary for killing all the cancer.

Chondrosarcoma: This type of bone cancer usually attacks the cartilage or the spongy material existing between the bones. The primary treatment is surgery for removing the tumor. Since cartilage has little blood flow if any, chemo isn’t an ideal treatment as such. Chondrosacrcomas are known to resist radiation therapy and the doctor has to use focused, high dosage sessions.

Ewing’s Sacrcoma: This type of bone cancer is usually very aggressive and is treated the same way as osteosarcoma. Treatment involves shrinking the tumor with chemo followed by surgery for removing it and finally chemo again.

Surgery & tumor size

Since surgery aims at removing all the cancer and limbs could be affected by bone cancer, there is always a possibility of amputation. This depends on the size, number of the bone tumors and location. Thanks to medical science, numerous limb saving advances are nowadays available such as bone grafts. After limb saving surgery, reconstructive surgery helps repair tendons, blood vessels and nerves that were damaged following the cancer surgery.

Treating bone cancer with immunotherapy

As one of the latest forms of treatments, immunotherapy initiates the attack of the cancer by the immune system. However, this treatment is yet to be approved as a standard therapy for combating bone cancer. Researchers are looking at how muramyl tripeptide, a typical synthetic bacterial protein could be used for inciting white blood cells to seek out and kill cancer cells that are resistant to the drugs. When MTE is combined with chemo, the mortality rate has decreased by 30%. Many clinical trials are still being undertaken on immunotherapy. On top of that, there may be need for the treatment center to have a person with BLS knowledge nearby because heart attacks are not uncommon with cancer patients. If this is you, please go for online CPR renewal to revamp your skills.

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