Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Learn About Primary Bone Cancer Treatment Options


Primary bone cancer is any cancer that starts in the bones. It is different from secondary bone cancer, which starts somewhere else and then spreads to the bones. There are several different types of bone cancer, and each one typically affects people at different ages.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging



Step One

Know the truth about primary bone cancer. It is rare. Only about 2,500 people develop this cancer each year. As with most cancers, the exact cause remains unknown.

Step Two

Understand that the primary treatment for bone cancer is surgery, which sometimes includes partial amputation in order to save a limb. Surgery is typically followed up with radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Step Three

Ask your doctor about new types of treatment. Combinations of radiation and chemotherapy are often used before, after and sometimes even during surgery. In some cases, a bone marrow transplant or stem cell implantation may be recommended.

Step Four

Participate in clinical trials near you. Clinical trials give you access to experimental medicine and allow you to be a part of the newest and latest procedures and medicines in cancer research. Visit the National Cancer Institute's Web site (see "Resources" below) for a listing of clinical trials. Look up experiments according to the name of your cancer.

Step Five

Seek ongoing support as a follow-up to treatment. Cancer treatments can require lifestyle adjustments, and many find they must rely on others for support. Visit the American Cancer Society's Web site (see "Resources" below) and search for a group near you.

Step Six

Consider integrating alternative or complementary medical practices into your treatment. Meditation and acupuncture may provide pain or stress relief, and you may wish to continue them as part of your post-treatment lifestyle.

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