Orthopedic Musculoskeletal Cancer

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For people with orthopedic/musculoskeletal cancer – often referred to as bone cancer – the Swedish Cancer Institute offers the services of a renowned team of physicians, surgeons and other cancer specialists working together in a multidisciplinary approach to care, to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

All Swedish patients with musculoskeletal cancer benefit from a comprehensive approach to care that begins with state-of-the-art imaging techniques and features the latest and best treatments, as well as a full selection of high-quality support services.


The two types of orthopedic/musculoskeletal cancer are primary and secondary.
  • Primary originates in the bone or tissues adjoined to the bone. There are many types of bone cancers; they vary from benign tumors that can be cured by surgery to malignant cancers that need to be treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Secondary bone cancers, also known as bone metastases, originated in another place in the body and then spread to the bone. The cells in bone metastases resemble the cells from the cancer's origin and are not bone cells that have become cancerous, as in the case of primary bone cancers. 


The first symptom of bone cancer is usually pain or tenderness caused by the cancer stretching the membrane that covers bone, or by stimulation of nerves within the bone.


An individualized treatment plan may include a combination of the following treatments:

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Research and Clinical Trials

If your physician believes you are a good candidate to participate in a clinical trial evaluating a new treatment or more effective combinations of treatments — and you agree — you will have access to the very latest in research treatments.

At any given time, the Swedish Cancer Institute offers patients more than 140 clinical-research studies involving most types of cancers. Additionally, our physician specialists collaborate with other regional and national research groups, including  Southwest Oncology Group, National Cancer Institute, Puget Sound Oncology Consortium and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Education and Support for Patients and Families

Beyond physical health, the Swedish Cancer Institute is committed to the emotional well-being of our patients and their families. We offer:

Complementary therapies include:

See Patient Support and Resources and Services for the Body, Mind and Spirit at Swedish.

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