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Bone Sarcoma

Bone sarcoma is another term for primary bone cancer.

Bone cancer starts in the bones and as the tumour grows, the cells multiply and destroy the bone. Primary cancer can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Bone sarcoma is rare, with around 200 Australians diagnosed each year.

Read more information on the Cancer Council fact sheet on Primary Bone Cancer

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The following symptoms can be a sign of bone cancer, consult your doctor if symptoms last for more than two weeks.

  • Pain in the bone and joints that isn’t relieved by mild over the counter pain relief
  • Swelling near the affected area
  • Tenderness or stiffness in the bones
  • Fracture
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

The causes of most bone cancers are unknown, but risks may be increased if:

  • They have been previously treated with radiotherapy. Most people who have radiotherapy will not develop cancer, but the risk is higher if they had high doses at a young age
  • They have other bone conditions such as Paget’s disease, or multiple enchondromatosis
  • There is a  genetic predisposition, or family history of cancer

Your Doctor will do a physical examination and take a medical history, they may request some of the following tests:

  • Blood test
  • X-ray
  • CT or MRI scans
  • PET scan
  • Bone biopsy

Your treatment will be specific to your case.

After careful history and physical examination, your surgeon will order appropriate tests, in order to get more information on the tumour, and also to determine if the tumour has spread to other parts of the body.

Sometimes a biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy is a sample of tissue, taken from the tumour. This is sent to a pathologist who examines the tissue under a microscope in order to confirm the diagnosis. Your case may also be discussed amongst a team of cancer specialists at an MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) Meeting prior to elaborating a treatment plan.

Your surgeon will discuss your particular treatment plan in detail and answer any questions you may have at your appointment.

Explore treatment options

Orthopaedic Oncology Treatments