In the first place, bone cancer is relatively rare (only 0.2% of all new cancers), but to the patient and the family there is an enormous emotional impact associated with this disease. Specifically, two of the bone cancers are found in young patients aged 10 to 20, the Ewing’s sarcoma and the osteosarcoma. It must be remembered that in the early 1970’s the cure rate was only about 20% for all cases. Overall it is common place now for many of these bone cancers to reach 5-year survivals of 75% and more.
In the US about 2,100 new cases are diagnosed each year (Ref.1 and 2). In this outline I decided to list only the 6 most common out of 16 bone cancers as otherwise it would be too confusing to the reader. However, the principles of diagnosis and treatment will become apparent from these examples.
The orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician internist, hematologist or oncologist will provide more detail for the affected patient and the parents and relatives. I will deal with the following bone cancers: Multiple myeloma, osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, malignant lymphoma, chondrosarcoma and giant cell tumor.
1. Cancer: Principles &Practice of Oncology. 4th edition. Edited by Vincent T. DeVita, Jr. et al. Lippincott, Philadelphia,PA, 1993. Chapter on Sarcomas of the soft tissues and bone.
2. Cancer: Principles&Practice of Oncology. 5th edition, volume 2. Edited by Vincent T. DeVita, Jr. et al. Lippincott-Raven Publ., Philadelphia,PA, 1997. Chapter on Sarcomas of the soft tissues and bone.
3. Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier
4. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc