Treatments for both soft-tissue and bone sarcomas depend on the tumor’s location, size, type, and stage. Treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
SurgeryUT Southwestern Medical Center surgical oncologists offer surgical options including:
- Excisional surgery: We remove the tumor as well as a minimal amount of surrounding tissue to increase the likelihood that all affected tissue is removed.
- Limb-sparing surgery: This involves removal of the tumor in an arm or leg without amputation, so the use and appearance of the limb are saved. The tissue and bone that are removed might be replaced with a graft using tissue and bone taken from another part of the patient’s body, or with an implant such as artificial bone.
- Amputation: In an amputation, some or all of the leg or arm is removed. This surgery is used when cancer has spread to most of the tissue in the limb and no other option is available. Amputation is used less commonly to treat sarcomas in the arms or legs now that limb-sparing surgery is available.
Radiation TherapyRadiation is sometimes used before surgery to shrink tumors or after surgery to kill remaining cancer cells. Our radiation oncologists use state-of-the-art machines and computers to precisely deliver targeted, high doses of radiation to sarcoma tumors.
Radiation techniques that might be used for sarcomas include:
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy: Delivers radiation to the specific shape of the tumor, sparing surrounding tissue
- Image-guided radiation therapy: Uses computed tomography (CT) scans and other imaging techniques to view the inside of the body while delivering radiation therapy
ChemotherapyChemotherapy drugs are given by mouth or through the veins to kill rapidly dividing cells, including cancer cells. Because these drugs travel through the bloodstream, they can reach all areas of the body, making them effective for treating sarcomas that have spread, or metastasized.
Chemotherapy is sometimes used before surgery to shrink a large sarcoma. It can also be used following surgery to kill off cancer cells that might have spread outside the tumor.