At OIC, your child will receive bone and soft tissue tumor treatment from award-winning doctors in pediatric orthopedics. The Musculoskeletal Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program at OIC was the first of its kind in the Western United States when it opened its doors in 1962. It remains one of a few centers in the nation dedicated specifically to pediatric bone tumors. From its inception, the program has utilized a multidisciplinary approach to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for children with benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors involving bone and soft tissue.
Currently, the bone and soft tissue tumor team is leading many clinical trials aimed at optimizing both oncologic and functional outcomes for surgery as well as pioneering new, non-chemotherapeutic approaches to treating cancer. We are here to leverage cutting edge technology to give your child the best outcome from his or her lump or bump, be it an aggressive cancer or a benign mass.
Tumors are abnormal masses or lumps. They’re formed when cells divide out of control, and spread excessively throughout the body. Bone tumors can be found in any bone in the body, and in any part of the bone—from the surface down to the bone marrow.
Most bone tumors are benign (non-cancerous), but some may be malignant (cancerous).
While benign tumors are usually not life-threatening, they can still cause problems. Benign tumors that are still growing can destroy healthy tissue and make it easier for bones to fracture.
There are also several benign conditions that can resemble tumors—like a non-ossifying fibroma (NOF), which is a bundle of fibrous tissue that usually appears in the leg. Your child’s doctor can diagnose the problem and recommend the correct treatment.
The common types of benign bone tumors, and some conditions grouped with tumors, include:
Non-ossifying Fibroma and Fibrous Dysplasia
These are benign tumors in which cells that were intended to form bone turned into fibrous tissue instead.
Giant Cell Tumor
This is a rare, aggressive tumor that grows in the ends of bones and can rapidly destroy the mechanical integrity of the bone.
Aneurysmal Bone Cyst
A cystic tumor of bone that is filled with blood and often aggressively expands the walls of bone.
Unicameral Bone Cyst
A common tumor in children that most commonly is found in the humerus bone of the arm that is filled with cystic fluid.
A benign tumor of cartilage cells that are “misplaced” in the inside of a bone.
A small, benign bone tumor that produces an enormous amount of prostaglandins, osteoid osteomas are extremely painful despite their small size.
A very common benign overgrowth of bone and cartilage that presents as a “bony bump.
An aggressive and painful tumor that grows at the ends of bones, near the joint.
Malignant bone tumors can consist of two types of cancer: primary or secondary. Primary bone cancers begin in the bone, while secondary cancers begin somewhere else in the body and spread to the bone. Primary bone cancers are rare—they account for about 3 to 7 percent of all childhood cancers. The 2 most commonly found in children are:
This is the most common bone cancer in teenagers. It usually develops in areas where bones grow rapidly, like at the end of long bones in the arms or legs. It’s most often found in the bones around the knee.
This is slightly less common, and it mostly affects young teenagers. It generally begins in the ribs, shoulder blades, pelvic (hip) bones or the long bones in the arms or upper legs.
This is a disease that affects the growth of nervous tissue. Tumors grow on the nerve cells on or beneath the skin anywhere in the body. In some cases, these tumors can be disfiguring.
Symptoms can vary, however common signs include:
Getting an accurate diagnosis for a bone tumor is very important, since other conditions can resemble tumors. Your child’s doctor will examine the tumor. Your doctor may request X-rays to help identify and diagnose the tumor and conduct a biopsy—a procedure that removes a bit of the tumor—to determine whether it’s benign or malignant.
Treatment for bone and soft tissue tumors can range from a simple surgical excision of the mass to a highly coordinated combination of immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. At OIC, we pride ourselves on leading the movement to make sure your child gets the best treatment to beat the cancer, but minimizes the side effects of the care. We continue to push the frontiers of musculoskeletal tumor care to deliver more targeted, less toxic therapeutics that can effectively defeat cancer.
The Musculoskeletal Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program at OIC prides itself on having assembled the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary tumor team in Los Angeles and across the country. The team strives to accommodate your child’s needs and emotional concerns, while providing optimum tumor care. Our team of experts is led by the following specialist:
The bone tumor team also includes:
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