Musculoskeletal Oncology

What is musculoskeletal oncology?

elderly couple smiling outdoors

Musculoskeletal oncology is an orthopaedic surgery sub-specialty. This field of medicine, practiced by orthopaedic surgeons, involves the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal growths of the bones and soft tissues³ of the musculoskeletal system¹.

What conditions are treated in the field of musculoskeletal oncology?

two feet climbing stairs in sneakers

Bone and soft tissue cancers are quite rare. They can form in the upper limbs, in the hands, arms, elbows, shoulders as well as in the lower limbs, in the feet, knees, thighs, hips including the pelvis, or the sacrum².

When should you see an orthopaedic surgeon for musculoskeletal oncology treatment?

Treatment of cancer involves numerous clinical disciplines⁴. At Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, we use a multidisciplinary approach to care. Regardless of the site of origin, our integrated team of surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists work together to understand each patient’s unique diagnosis and develop an effective personalized treatment plan⁵.

Enquire with our orthopaedic surgeons.

Did you know?

Bone sarcomas often start with pain in a bone that may get worse at night. Typical bone sarcomas are osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma. Common soft tissue sarcomas include liposarcomas and rhabdomyosarcoma.

How do I maintain or improve my orthopaedic health after musculoskeletal oncology treatment?

man holding onto his knee

Treatment for cancer is time-consuming and can be emotionally draining⁶. During this time, many patients consider making lifestyle changes to improve their physical and emotional well-being to tackle the current disease and prepare for life beyond cancer. Some areas you may wish to consider are:

· Start healthy eating habits
· Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
· Limiting your alcohol intake
· Stop smoking
· Reducing your stress levels
· Try to start a regular exercise routine to help combat the extreme fatigue commonly experienced by those undergoing treatment

What facilities and technologies do our specialists use for musculoskeletal oncology care?

Our orthopaedic surgeons are experienced in using a wide range of technology in the diagnosis and treatment process. Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre’s orthopaedic surgeons also working alongside highly qualified medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, and pathologists to accurately diagnose and treat musculoskeletal malignancies.

Request an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon today.

Selected Specialist Publications
[1] Tan PH, Chia SS, Toh SL, Goh JC, Nathan SS. Three-dimensional spatial configuration of tumour cells confers resistance to chemotherapy independent of drug delivery. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2016 Aug;10(8):637-46.
[2] Tan PH, Chia SS, Toh SL, Goh JC, Nathan SS. The dominant role of IL-8 as an angiogenic driver in a three-dimensional physiological tumor construct for drug testing. Tissue Eng Part A. 2014 Jun;20(11-12):1758-66.
[3] Subramaniam MM, Chan JY, Leow PC, Venkateswaran K, Nathan SS, Soong R, Lee VK. Dedifferentiated liposarcoma with unusual kaposiform morphology and whorl formation masquerading As Kaposi’s sarcoma: diagnostically challenging case confirmed by cytogenetic and TP53 mutation analysis. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Mar 1;31(7):e101-5.
[4] Nathan SS, Healey JH. Demographic determinants of survival in osteosarcoma. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2012 Sep;41(9):390-9.
[5] Lim CT, Tan LB, Nathan SS. Prospective evaluation of argon gas probe delivery for cryotherapy of bone tumours. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2012 Aug;41(8):347-53.
[6] Nathan SS, Healey JH. Making a case for the socioeconomic determinacy of survival in osteosarcoma. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Mar;471(3):784-91.

A/Prof Saminathan Suresh Nathan
Orthopaedic Consultant
Limb Salvage and Revision Arthroplasty Surgery Pte Ltd
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre