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Bone cancer

The information on this page was reviewed and approved by
Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science at CTCA.

This page was updated on July 14, 2021.

Bone cancer requires expert care. Know your options.

Many symptoms may emerge as bone cancer develops and grows, but pain is the most common. While the disease may occur in any bone in the body, it most often develops in the long bones of the arms and legs. Arthritis, osteoporosis or an injury may mimic many bone cancer symptoms. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor in order to identify the cause and receive proper treatment, if necessary. Although the exact causes of this cancer type are unknown, certain factors may increase the risk for developing the disease, such as genetic disorders and previous treatments for other conditions.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we believe that every cancer is as unique as the person fighting it. In an era of precision medicine, with ever-evolving treatment advances, fighting bone cancer requires personalized care, delivered by experts trained in the many facets of this complex disease. Our cancer experts work with a multidisciplinary care team that uses a wide array of diagnostic tests, such as bone, PET and CT scans, to diagnose and stage the disease and customize an individualized treatment plan. Throughout treatment, imaging and laboratory tests track the size of the tumors and the response to treatment, allowing the care team to modify the treatment plan as needed.

What you should know after a bone cancer diagnosis

Treatment options

close-up of surgeon with mask and scrubs performing surgery task

Multiple treatments are available to attack bone cancer, though the stage and location of the disease dictates which may be recommended. After a host of testing and a thorough evaluation, a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. Bone cancer treatments include:

Orthopedic oncology
Our orthopedic oncology program provides various orthopedic procedures for patients—soft tissue excisions/resections, hip and joint replacement, and reconstructive and palliative surgeries, for example—and addresses orthopedic problems that may occur, such as osteoporosis or arthritis.

Many surgeries may be performed, depending on the location and extent of the tumor.

Chemotherapy may be recommended to treat certain bone cancers, such as Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma.

Radiation therapy
Bone cancers, often surrounded by sensitive tissues like nerves and blood vessels, may be challenging and complicated to treat. Sophisticated radiation therapy delivery systems help our radiation oncologists target difficult-to-reach bone tumors.

Targeted therapy
With this therapy, drugs attach to proteins, receptors or gene mutations found only on specific types of cancer cells. Targeted therapy drugs may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy or other treatments, to help anti-cancer drugs better identify and attack cancer cells.

Learn more about treatments for bone cancer

​Supportive care

To help cancer patients manage the side effects of treatment, our multidisciplinary team of experts provide supportive care services designed to help our patients stay strong and maintain quality of life throughout treatment. Supportive care services for bone cancer patients may include:


​Pain management

Pain management is a branch of medicine focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life through an integrative approach to care.


​Nutritional support

Every patient has the option of meeting with a registered dietitian.


Behavioral health

​Our behavioral health support program is designed to support you and your caregivers before, during and after cancer treatment.

Anthony Dickey

Anthony D.

Brain Cancer

"My experience with brain cancer and with CTCA changed me. I believe in the power of not giving up, and I believe that CTCA has the kind of care many of us are looking for. No matter what roadblock we encountered along the way, I feel CTCA was there to help us through."


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