Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center offers convenient, personalized care for bone tumors, which occur rarely in children. While cancer is a word nobody wants to hear, parents should know that children tend to have high cure rates.
Why Choose Mary Bridge for Bone Tumor Treatment?
Parents choose our hospital because we offer:
- Specialized cancer expertise: Our pediatric cancer specialists are board-certified experts with years of experience treating bone tumors, compared to other hospitals that rely heavily on physicians in training.
- Personalized care: Our physicians customize treatment plans for each child. Your child will likely see the same doctor throughout the course of treatment.
- Advanced treatments: At our hospital, your child has access to clinical trials and standardized treatment procedures found at leading cancer centers nationwide.
- Convenient location: Having expert cancer treatment available close to home means you spend less time traveling for care.
Comprehensive bone tumor support
Our family-centered approach includes a wide variety of child and family support services, such as nurse navigators and child life specialists, to make treatment easier. Our team also collaborates with other specialists, such as physical therapists, dietitians and psychologists, to address your child’s needs.
Other support services include:
- Support groups and financial assistance to make treatment easier on your family
- Detailed follow-up care, including checkups, blood tests and imaging procedures
- Personalized long-term plans with comprehensive information on any future health concerns and what your child needs to stay healthy
Types of Pediatric Bone Tumors
The most common types of bone tumors in children and young adults are osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.
- Osteosarcoma: Approximately 400 children in the United States are diagnosed with osteosarcoma every year. Symptoms may include bone pain, swelling and impaired joint motion.
- Ewing sarcoma: Only about 200 children nationwide are diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma each year. Symptoms may include swelling and soreness, low fever and bone pain that worsens with activity.
Bone Tumor Diagnosis
If your child’s doctor suspects a bone tumor, he or she will likely recommend a combination of tests and imaging studies that include:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): An MRI uses radio waves and powerful magnets to create detailed images of your child’s brain. During the MRI, your child will need to lie on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped machine.
- CT (computerized tomography) scan: This procedure uses X-rays to generate images of the brain, requiring your child to lie on a table that slides through a large donut-shaped machine.
- Biopsy: Diagnosis may require a biopsy for further examination. Doctors remove a tissue sample to examine under a microscope. Our doctors choose needle biopsies rather than more invasive surgical techniques whenever possible. During a needle biopsy, a doctor uses a single needle rather than open surgery to remove a tissue sample for lab analysis.
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan: A PET scan is a test used to detect tumors in bones and other tissues. Specialists inject a substance containing low levels of radiation. The cancer cells absorb the substance so they show up on images. Your child must lie on a small table in the PET scanner while radiologists take images.
Bone Tumor Treatment at Mary Bridge
At Mary Bridge, you’ll find the same standard care procedures used at major medical centers, plus access to clinical trials through our participation in the Children’s Oncology Group.
Your child’s treatment will depend on a number of factors such as tumor type, size and location. Treatments include:
- Surgery: When possible, pediatric cancer specialists use surgery to remove bone tumors. Our specialists will do everything possible to minimize the amount of bone and tissue removed.
- Chemotherapy: This treatment uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. Doctors may prescribe chemotherapy before surgery to shrink tumors, or after surgery to prevent the cancer from coming back (recurring).
- Radiation therapy: During radiation therapy, high-energy radiation beams target and destroy cancer cells. Our radiation oncologists use the most advanced technology available to minimize tissue damage and protect your child’s growing body.