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How do you treat bone cancer?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for bone cancer include surgery, cryosurgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The choice depends on the stage, size and type of the bone cancer, as well as the general health and age of the patient. Follow-up treatment after removal is necessary to check for recurrence, notes the National Cancer Institute.

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Full Answer

The most common treatment for bone cancer is surgery. The surgeon takes out the whole tumor leaving negative margins, which means the surgeon takes out enough tissue around the tumor so that no cancer cells remain along the border or edge of the remaining tissue. In some cases, the surgeon may try to limit the amount of healthy tissue he takes out with the cancerous parts, states the National Cancer Institute.

Chemotherapy refers to the use of anticancer drugs to kill the cells that lead to cancer. With bone cancer, patients generally get a mixture of anticancer drugs. Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, uses high-energy X-rays to zap cancer. Radiation treatment is often used in concert with surgery. Cryosurgery involves liquid nitrogen, which is used to freeze and kill cancer cells. In some cases, cryosurgery works to destroy the cancerous tumor, as stated by the National Cancer Institute.

Follow-up treatments include regular blood tests and X-rays to make sure that the bone cancer does not come back. People who have suffered from bone cancer -- particularly teens and children -- are more likely to develop a different type of cancer at another point in life, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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