Dr. Templeton explains if bone cancer is a fatal disease.
Yes, as in all cancers, there is a risk of dying as a result of having bone cancer. Looking at pediatric bone cancers, some of the biggest advances that we have made over the past couple of decades is the use of chemotherapy or medications to treat this. Before we had those medications, patients were, the risk of dying was extremely high from bone cancer. Even if these children had surgery, even if the tumor didn’t come back where they had had their tumor initially, they would develop cancers elsewhere.
So that made us realize that these cancers had actually already spread, we just couldn’t pick it up on x-rays. That’s something that chemotherapy has helped with substantially. The chemotherapy is medication that is given through a vein so it goes everywhere that the bloodstream goes, so it goes everywhere the cancers can go. So it has done a very good job of getting rid of a lot of the cancer that’s already tried to spread. It doesn’t mean that at this point everybody survives bone cancer because a significant number still will not survive, but survival is getting substantially better.
About Dr. Kim Templeton, M.D.:
Kim Templeton, M.D., received her degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine with a specialty in orthopedics and musculoskeletal oncology and began her career with an orthopedic residency at Chicago's Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center.
She then accepted a Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In 1995, she came to the KU School of Medicine, where her commitment to excellence and orthopedic education has opened the way to positions of leadership. She is now the Director of the Orthopedic Residency Education Program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, holds the first Joy McCann Professorship for Women in Medicine and Science, and currently serves as president of the KU Medical Center's Women in Medicine and Science program.