As with any tissue, tumors may develop in the bone and surrounding soft tissues. Some tumors are harmless as any surgical intervention may require, as well as some tumors may create some risky situations in terms of human life. Therefore, the diagnosis and treatment plan of bone tumors and soft tissue tumors are very important. These tumors may arise from the bone and soft tissue itself, or they may occur as a tumor that develops in a different tissue, spreading to the bone.
- What is the difference between benign and malignant tumors?
- Generally speaking, malignant tumors are painful and grow rapidly. It damages and weakens the bone where it is placed, causing the risk of breaking even in a simple movement. On the other hand, benign masses are usually painless and grow more slowly. However, although they are benign, the feature of weakening the bone in which they are placed is also present in such masses.
- What are the symptoms?
- Patients usually refer to the physician with pain, palpable mass, swelling, tenderness, and even tumor-related fracture, which initially increases with activity and becomes continuous over time.
- How is the diagnosis made?
- A wide screening must be done for diagnosis. It is very important to understand very well the patient, and enough and clear question about the family history should be fully inquired. Due to the easy spread of breast cancer tumors to the bone, the probable contamination to the abdominal cavity, lungs, prostate should highly be under a high consideration by taking a comprehensive assessment. X-ray, computed tomography, MR imaging, scintigraphy and PET are the commonly used imaging methods. In some cases, a definite diagnosis cannot be made despite all the examinations. In this case, taking samples from the relevant mass with biopsy and examining is very helpful to reach an efficient diagnosis.
- How is it treated?
- During treatment, the tumor should be clearly diagnosed. The entire treatment plan is based on this information. Among the options, simple removal of the mass, removal of the mass with some clean tissue around it, clean monitoring of the mass content, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and systemic drugs and various combinations of these treatment methods can be used. In some cases, the tumor may need to be amputated. And the required treatment should be planned by the related doctor.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mesut TAHTA
Orthopedics and Traumatology