Treatments for childhood bone cancer

Last medical review:

A child diagnosed with bone cancer will have a treatment plan created just for them by their healthcare team. It will be based on important information about the cancer and about the child. When deciding which treatments to offer as part of the plan, the healthcare team will consider:

  • the type of bone cancer
  • the size of the tumour and where it is
  • whether the cancer has spread (the stage)
  • the child's age
  • the child's overall health, lifestyle and activity levels

Childhood bone cancer is generally treated using chemotherapy and surgery. Radiation therapy is sometimes used for Ewing sarcoma along with these treatments.

Treatment is given in a pediatric cancer centre by a multidisciplinary team. This includes radiologists, pediatric oncologists, pathologists, surgical or orthopedic oncologists and radiation oncologists. Other support staff such as child life specialists, dietitians, physiotherapists, social workers and counsellors are also available.

The surgeon who planned or carried out the biopsy will also do the surgery to remove the tumour (if surgery is part of the treatment plan). The area where the biopsy was taken will need to be removed when the tumour is removed.

Treatments for childhood osteosarcoma

Treatments for osteosarcoma (a type of childhood bone cancer) are usually based on stage and include chemotherapy and surgery.

Treatments for childhood Ewing sarcoma of the bone

Treatments for Ewing sarcoma (a type of childhood bone cancer) are based on stage and include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.

Chemotherapy for childhood bone cancer

Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. Childhood bone cancer is often treated with chemotherapy.

Surgery for childhood bone cancer

Surgery is a medical procedure to examine, remove or repair tissue. Childhood bone cancer is often treated with surgery.

Radiation therapy for childhood bone cancer

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. It is used to treat Ewing sarcoma (a type of childhood bone cancer).

Follow-up after treatment for childhood bone cancer

Follow-up is an important part of care for childhood bone cancer. It often involves regular tests and visits with the healthcare team.

Late effects of treatments for childhood bone cancer

Late effects of cancer treatment can develop years after a child is treated for bone cancer. They can include bone and heart problems.