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Musculoskeletal Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, our doctors are experts in diagnosing tumors that affect the musculoskeletal system, which is critical to receiving targeted, effective treatment. Once a musculoskeletal cancer diagnosis has been made, a multidisciplinary team of doctors including surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists come together to create a personalized care plan for the best possible outcome for each individual.

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Musculoskeletal cancer diagnosis

New patients receive rapid access for an accurate diagnosis of their cancer so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. 

Imaging tests help determine the location and size of tumors. Tests may include:

  • Bone scan
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • X-rays

Your doctor may also remove a tissue sample (biopsy) for lab testing, either through a thin needle or a surgical procedure.

Musculoskeletal cancer treatment

Treatment may start with neoadjuvant therapy, which aims to reduce the size or extent of the cancer before using more radical treatment interventions. Neoadjuvant therapy can make other procedures easier and more likely to succeed.

Surgery for musculoskeletal cancer

Our surgical team has specialized training in managing tumors throughout the musculoskeletal system, including the spine, pelvis and extremities. This includes advanced training in limb sparing and reconstructio techniques that provide an optimal outcome for most cases.

Chemotherapy for musculoskeletal cancer

Your musculoskeletal medical oncologist will use an evidence-based approach to provide you with the most up-to-date treatment regimens individually tailored to achieve the best outcome.

Radiation for musculoskeletal cancer

Radiation oncologists create an individualized plan for treatment. Our state-of-the-art radiation oncology program includes image-guided radiation therapy, high-dose-rate therapy and brachytherapy, where "seeds" are used to deliver targeted doses of radiation to the cancer site.

Wellness and rehabilitation

Your needs are continually assessed and addressed to minimize the effect of musculoskeletal cancer on overall health and happiness. We enhance your quality of life—in treatment and recovery—through an emphasis on cancer wellness and rehabilitation, including recommendations and support for nutrition and exercise. You may be given referrals for massage, acupuncture and other alternative approaches to care.

Learn more about our comprehensive wellness and support services.

Musculoskeletal cancer second opinions

If you’ve been diagnosed with musculoskeletal cancer, learn more about second opinions  and how they may help you find all your available treatment options.

Musculoskeletal cancer research and clinical trials

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is a leader in cancer research. Learn more about research and clinical trial options

Musculoskeletal cancer specialists

To learn more about musculoskeletal cancer care or to make an appointment, find a specialist near you.