What are survival rates and how is the treatment of recurrent bone cancer done?
Survival Rates for Bone Cancer
Survival rates are reference points that doctors use as a means of discussing a patient’s prognosis or approach of treatment. While some patients might be aware of survival rates, others may not.
Survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who survive for a certain period of time which is usually 5 years after the cancer diagnosis. There are many who live longer than this and there are many who reccures. Survival rates are based on outcomes that have been noticed previously for people who had the disease.
Many factors affect the prognosis of bone cancer like the type and grade of cancer, the patient’s age, location and size of the tumor, and the treatment received. A 5-year survival rate is approximately 70%.
Treatment of Recurrent type of Bone Cancer
Despite the survival rate, it is important to deal with the question of the treatment of recurrent bone cancers. Effective treatment requires both local and systemic therapy the former of which deals with the removal of primary osteosarcoma, and the latter directed at eliminating cancer cells throughout the body and consists of chemotherapy usually.
Systemic therapy is important to maximize the patient’s chance of cure. Local therapy is important to remove the tumor. Those with recurrent cancers usually have micrometastasis which is undetectable through screening procedures. Systemic therapy is thereby important in this case, where, typically, patients undergo chemotherapy before and after surgery.
On the other hand, the multi-modality approach to treat bone cancers requires a multidisciplinary health care team. This team consists of a primary care physician, an orthopedic surgeon experienced in tumors, a radiation oncologists, pediatric oncologists, a pathologist, pediatric nurse specialists, rehabilitation specialist, philanthropists, social worker, and others. Integrating a multi-disciplinary team is important to ensure that the patient receives good treatment, supportive care, and rehabilitation that will help with both survival and quality of life.
Treatment of Local Recurrences
A small fraction of patients with the recurrent disease has only local disease without evidence of metastatic disease. The first treatment, in this case, is surgery or amputation. If surgery is not possible, local radiotherapy is best.
Development of Chemotherapy
Over the past few decades, there has been a considerable improvement in the development of chemotherapy. Clinical trials for the treatment of osteosarcoma with adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery improves the survival chances of the patient. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is useful before surgery in order to shrink the tumor.