A  A  A   Print
What to Know About Chemotherapy for Primary Bone Cancer

What to Know About Chemotherapy for Primary Bone Cancer

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer. It works by stopping the cancer cells from growing and dividing. It is a systemic treatment. This means that it travels throughout your body in your bloodstream, killing cancer cells along the way.

Who needs chemotherapy

Your doctor will probably suggest chemotherapy if you have osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, or malignant fibrous histiocytoma. These types of bone cancer respond well to chemotherapy. 

Photo of intravenous drug bag

Chemotherapy given near the time of surgery and before the cancer shows up elsewhere can often prevent recurrence of the cancer. With current therapies, at least two-thirds of children, adolescents, and adults under age 40 can be cured of nonmetastatic osteosarcoma of the extremities. Your doctor may also recommend chemotherapy if the cancer has spread to other organs (metastasized). The kind of drugs you get depends on the type of tumor you have.

Chemotherapy with other treatment

You may get chemotherapy alone or with surgery. Your doctor may suggest it as your only treatment in the following cases:

  • The tumor cannot be removed with surgery.

  • You have a sarcoma that has spread or returned after treatment.

  • Radiation would be difficult.

Chemotherapy before surgery is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This can shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove, as well as lower the risk that the cancer will come back.

When a cancer does not need to be shrunk in order for it to be easily removed, your doctor will give you chemotherapy after surgery. This will help lower the risk that the cancer will come back. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy.

 
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.