What is Musculoskeletal Oncology?
Musculoskeletal oncology focuses on the care of patients with bone and soft tissue tumors. Individuals of all ages can be afflicted with these diverse and often rare tumors. The malignant primary tumors of the musculoskeletal system are referred to as sarcomas. These sarcomas can arise from bone or soft tissue.
Musculoskeletal oncology also encompasses the care of a wide variety of benign bone and soft tissue masses. Many of these lesions can be diagnosed by imaging modalities alone and can be simply observed. Others require a biopsy or excision for definitive diagnosis and or relief of symptoms.
There are approximately 3,000 new bone sarcomas and 9,000 new soft tissue sarcomas diagnosed per year in the United States, representing less than 1% of all malignant tumors treated. Treatment is often intensive and lengthy, and requires a multidisciplinary approach and collaborative efforts of surgical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists.
A team of physicians has been assembled at Albany Medical Center by Dr. Matthew R. DiCaprio, who is the Director of the Orthopaedic Oncology Service and one of the Capital Region's Top Doctors of 2015, and Bradford Palmer, PA . The team meets bimonthly at a multi-specialty tumor board to discuss and improve patient diagnosis and treatment planning.
With the current incidence of cancer in the United States and with patients living longer with many carcinomas, more and more individuals with cancer are suffering musculoskeletal complications. Orthopaedic oncology helps to stabilize or replace bones ravaged by carcinomas, and on occasion assist in diagnosing patients with cancer when their initial symptoms include skeletal pain or a fracture.
Our patients should never feel alone on their journey with their disease. We strive for our patients to feel that we care for both their physical condition and their emotional well-being. With our team approach and ancillary support staff we strive to provide this excellence in patient care at Albany Medical Center. Our goals include:
- Providing exceptional service to our patients.
- Accelerating the time it takes for an accurate diagnosis.
- Providing individualized state of the art treatment tailored to each patient's needs.
- Making informational counsel and empathic support available to patients at all times.