Musculoskeletal oncology (Orthopaedic Oncology) is a subspecialty in orthopaedic surgery which address benign and malignant tumors of bone and connective soft tissues. The area also includes the diagnosis and treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma (Breast cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, etc.) that affects the musculoskeletal system.
Treatment of patients with tumors affecting the musculoskeletal system, particularly malignant tumors requires coordinated care with radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists. Sarcoma is a broad term used to characterize cancers that develop in bone and connective tissues. Unlike carcinoma, sarcoma is very rare. The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 13,000 new soft tissue sarcoma and 3,900 new bone sarcoma diagnoses annually in the United States. Because of the rarity, it is important that abnormalities concerning for tumors of the musculoskeletal system be evaluated by physicians who have received specialized training in the field as it is well known in the medical literature that mistreatment of sarcomas can have devastating consequences.
Shawn L. Price, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in general orthopaedics, as well as the sub-specialty of orthopaedic oncology. Dr. Price has been treating patient in the region and beyond who are affected by tumors of the musculoskeletal system for over 11 years. Treatment of these conditions requires a coordinated approach. Dr. Price works collaboratively with a team of doctors to provide patients with the optimal treatment strategy. In addition to working with your healthcare team, Dr.Price regularly participates in a multi-institutional board with colleagues from across the country to provide each patient with the latest and most individualized treatment recommendations.
What to Expect:
Dr. Price will work with you to obtain prior records pertinent to your visit and evaluation. You will be asked to obtain and bring with you a copy of all imaging of the area of concern.
While in the office, you will be asked pertinent questions and the area of concern will be assessed with physical exam. The need for radiographic evaluation will be determined and if you have already obtained imaging it will be reviewed.
There may be a need for further imaging, specifically a magnetic resonance image (MRI) of the area and/or CT scan, PET scan or bone scan may be warranted and may be ordered after your visit. If you have already undergone an MRI and a biopsy can safely be performed in clinic, a biopsy will be performed.
If you elect to undergo a biopsy in the office, an area of your skin and deeper tissues will be anesthetized with a local anesthetic. A small incision will be made in the skin and tissue will be obtained and sent to the pathologist. You will be able resume normal activity after biopsy and can expect some soreness after the numbness wears off.
Most biopsy specimens will be initially evaluated by the pathologist locally. He/She will then decide whether further, expert evaluation is warranted. A final diagnosis is typically ready after 10 – 14 days. While waiting for the specimen, referrals to other providers may be necessary and will likely be completed while waiting for the final pathology read.
After your visit:
If you have a biopsy performed in our clinic or will be scheduled to have one performed, we understand waiting for results is hard and stressful. Please know that we will be anxiously awaiting the results as will you. Once we receive notification that the final results are ready, we will advise you and take the appropriate steps to make sure you are aware of the diagnosis and the next steps.