If you received a diagnosis of bone cancer, you may be worried about how cancer and the treatment will affect your ability to function. At Allegheny Health Network (AHN), you have access to uncommon expertise.
If the cancer is in the arms or legs, we deliver specialized care to get rid of it while preserving as much of your function as possible.
What is bone cancer?
Bone cancer happens when a tumor, an abnormal mass of cells, starts growing out of control in your bones. Some forms of bone cancer grow quickly and can spread to other parts of your body.
Other times, the tumor is not cancerous and grows slowly. Any tumor can destroy healthy tissue, weakening your bones and increasing your risk for fracture (broken bone).
Common forms of bone cancer include:
- Ewing’s sarcoma
- Multiple myeloma
Bone cancer care at Allegheny Health Network: Why choose us?
The AHN Orthopaedic Institute is home to one of the few orthopaedic surgeons in the country dedicated to treating bone cancer. Our expert completed specialized training (fellowship) in treatments for cancers affecting the bones, joints, and soft tissue. Meet our orthopaedic oncologist, Lisa B. Ercolano, MD.
Surgery is one of many bone cancer treatments available at AHN. Our orthopaedic oncologist works alongside AHN’s cancer experts to help you get the treatment that best meet your needs. Find out more about bone cancer treatment at the AHN Cancer Institute.
Surgical treatments for bone cancer
We deliver a broad range of surgical treatments for bone cancer, including:
- Curettage: We remove the tumor without removing large sections of bone tissue. To prevent cancer from coming back, we apply certain substances, including cold gas (cryotherapy) or bone cement, to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Limb-sparing surgery: This treatment gets rid of larger tumors while preserving function in your arm or leg. We remove sections of cancerous bone and a small amount of nearby healthy tissue.
- Limb reconstruction: Reconstructive surgery maximizes your ability to use the limb after you recover. We may transplant a section of bone from another area of the body. If we need to remove the lower part of your arm or leg, we may change the positioning of your elbow or knee to help you use an artificial limb (prosthesis).
- Amputation: We make every effort to avoid amputation, a procedure to surgically remove a limb. Amputation is sometimes necessary if the cancer is near nerves or blood vessels, and we are not able to preserve limb function. If we determine together that amputation is the most effective treatment option for you, our expert team will be with you every step of the way. We help you retain as much healthy leg or arm tissue as possible so you can live a good quality of life.