Musculoskeletal Cancers

Musculoskeletal Cancers

Cancers of the musculoskeletal system affects our bodys muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, joints and cartilage. For unknown reasons, cells that help us form our muscles, bones and connective tissues become damaged, leading to several cancers of this system, which helps us move our bodies. Many of these diseases are more common in children than adults. Rhabdomyosarcoma (pronounced RAB-doh-MY-oh-sar-KOH-muh) causes cancerous tumors to develop in the head, neck, bladder and reproductive organs. The Ewing Family of Tumors (EFTs) cause rare cancers of the bone and soft tissues found in our arms, legs, head, neck and trunk. The most common type of bone cancer, osteosarcoma weakens the connective tissues and minerals that give our bones strength. Most musculoskeletal cancers are rare but can be difficult to treat. Early detection is key to improving your outcome. See your doctor if you or your child have a lump that grows or does not disappear, find blood in your urine or have bone pain.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Yondelis (trabectedin) is a drug for the treatment of certain soft-tissue sarcomas (tumors that begin in soft tissues like muscle and fat) that cannot be removed surgically. Yondelis is effective against liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma. It is adminstered through an IV once every three weeks, following a dose of the corticosteroid dexamethasone. Yondelis has potential dangerous effects, including neutropenic sepsis, a potentially fatal loss of white blood cells; liver toxicity; rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue); danger to the heart; and danger to the fetus in pregnant women. Patients are closely monitored during treatment for signs of these conditions. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, poor appetite, dyspnea, tiredness, breathing problems, and headache. Breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment. Safety has not been established in pediatric or elderly patients. 
  • 2 Answers
    A
    Symptoms of bone marrow cancer include the following:
    • fatigue due to anemia
    • bone pain
    • loss of appetite
    • weight loss
    • high blood calcium,
    • constipation
    • kidney damage
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Neuroradiology, answered on behalf of
    Cancer in a vertebra can be treated with a freezing procedure that does not require surgery. By turning the malignant (cancerous) area into an ice ball, doctors can kill all the cancer cells in that area. Most people tolerate this procedure very well and experience a significant decrease in pain from their tumor. The procedure is done with computed tomography (CT) imaging guidance.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Chordoma is an uncommon, slow-growing tumor that is thought to arise from cellular remnants of the embryonic spine called the notochord. Chordomas are found most frequently at the base of the spine (the sacrum) and intracranially at the clivus, but they may occur anywhere along the spine.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    Diagnosis of a chordoma is made with the following:
    • MRI and/or CT of the brain
    • Neurological examination
    • Tissue biopsy
  • 1 Answer
    A
    No real cause for chordomas is known, but a genetic basis has been described for some chordomas. They have also been reported in families with tuberous sclerosis and certain types of childhood brain tumors.

    No environmental factors, trauma, or diet are known to be associated with chordomas, and there is no known way to prevent chordomas. There are no known risk factors for chordomas.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    While chordomas are generally slow-growing tumors, they tend to cause local destruction of the bone and grow into nearby tissues and organs. They frequently come back after initial treatment. Distant spread (metastasis) is rare but not unknown.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Symptoms depend on the location of the chordoma. Clival chordomas most commonly present with:
    • double vision
    • headache
    • facial pain or paralysis
    • hearing changes
    • swallowing problems
    • hoarseness
    Sacral chordomas may not cause symptoms until they are quite large, but common symptoms are:
    • back and/or lower extremity pain
    • leg weakness
    • rectal dysfunction
    • urinary incontinence
    • erectile dysfunction
    • palpable sacral mass
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Surgery is the primary treatment for chordomas. Sometimes this requires an open cranial procedure. As minimally invasive transnasal approaches have evolved, many chordomas can now be removed through the nose using endoscopic assistance.

    In most cases, as complete a surgical resection as is possible within the limits of safety offers the best chance of long-term control. Frequent follow-up is required because of the high rate of recurrence of these tumors, especially when a gross total resection was not achieved.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Chordomas are fairly resistant to radiation, and high doses are often needed for disease control. Since chordomas are usually close to critical neurological structures such as the brain stem and cranial nerves, there is a limit as to how much radiation can safely be delivered. Therefore, highly focused radiation such as stereotactic radiosurgery or proton beam therapy may be more effective than conventional x-ray radiation.