Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of treatments for osteosarcoma are available. For most people with localized disease, treatment will involve surgery to remove the tumor. When chemotherapy is used for osteosarcoma, it may be given before or after surgery. In cases where radiation therapy is used, it is usually administered from a machine (known as external radiation).
Osteosarcoma Treatment: An OverviewOption to treat osteosarcoma vary based on:
- Whether the cancer is localized, metastatic, or recurrent (see Osteosarcoma Stages)
- Where the tumor is found
- The patient's age and general health.
In general, options can include:
- Radiation therapy
Patients should work with their doctors to develop a plan that meets their medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate osteosarcoma treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.
Remembering Questions and Answers About Treating OsteosarcomaMany people with osteosarcoma want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care, including their treatment. However, the shock and stress that often accompany an osteosarcoma diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. Some patients find that it is helpful to make a list of questions before their appointment.
Healthcare Providers Who Treat OsteosarcomaThere are usually several healthcare providers involved in a patient's treatment for osteosarcoma. The doctor may refer patients to doctors who specialize in treating the disease, or patients may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat osteosarcoma include:
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Orthopedic oncologists
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists.