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Osteosarcoma Management Abroad

Osteosarcoma Management cost package:
{the cost covers all destination medical & logistics costs}
International Destinations: India, Jordan, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey

Osteosarcoma is a malignancy of bone cells which results in cancerous growth. Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer and sixth most common cancer among children. It occurs during adolescence, when teenagers are experiencing a growth spurt. It is more common in males and most frequently involves the shin and thigh near the knee joint and the upper arm near the shoulder. Unfortunately little is known about the causative/predisposing factors (it is believed to be caused due to an unpredictable error in the DNA of the osteoblasts i.e. the growing bone cells) and hence there is no effective way to prevent these cancers. The primary cancer arises in the bone, while the metastasis can spread to surrounding soft tissue and other important organs. The emphasis in management of osteosarcoma is on early diagnosis and treatment. The treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. The chances of recovery depend upon the stage in which the tumor is detected and the extent of its spread, with metastasis considerably reducing the chances of long term survival. For treatment and management of osteosarcoma, several patients prefer to visit international destinations of medical tourism to avail of good quality and relatively cheap medical care. The international destinations for medical tourism include Jordan, South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and India. The cost of the management would depend upon the country and the extent of medical intervention required.

Prognosis of Osteosarcoma

The prognosis of Osteosarcoma depends upon certain parameters like responsiveness to medical intervention, metastasis, the size of the tumor, location, type of osteosarcoma, the person’s general health and other individual factors. Largely, the long term survival rate after osteosarcoma depends upon,

  • Tumors that are localized and are limited to the bone and the tissue surrounding it have a very good prognosis
  • Tumors that have secondary metastatic lesions spread to other parts of the body, have a relatively poor prognosis. The most common site of spread of secondary tumors in the lungs or other bones.
  • Tumors that recur at the same site or other parts of the body indicate a poor prognosis. Recurrence is common at the secondary tumor site i.e. lungs.
  • The initial response of chemotherapy also determines the subsequent prognosis of the patient. In patients, where nearly all the tumor cells are eliminated in the first ten weeks of chemotherapy treatment, there is a better chance of improvement compared to those who don’t respond adequately to chemotherapy.

Preparing for Management of Osteosarcoma:

  • Based on the case history, clinical signs and symptoms (i.e. easy fractures, bone pain, inflammation at a localized site, limited movement, etc) and a detailed and complete medical examination, the presiding physician will assess the possibility of osteosarcoma.
  • Blood tests will be conducted to isolate and evaluate the levels of certain enzymes in the blood that tend to increase in malignancies. Further, a bone scan is conducted to assess the extent of spread of the tumor to other bones.
  • Imaging tests like Computed Tomography or X ray may be suggested to assess the spread and size of the tumor.
  • A biopsy of the suspected tumor cells is taken and examined by pathologists to confirm whether the tumor is malignant and determine the type of the malignancy.

Management of Osteosarcoma:

  • Treatment of osteosarcoma begins after a biopsy of the tumor cells. Prior to undertaking a major surgery, the patient is subjected to a series of chemotherapy drugs, with the principle objective of reducing the size and spread of the tumor cells.
  • The commonly used chemotherapy drugs include Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin and Ifosfamide. The therapy is given intravenously for about 6-10 weeks prior to the surgery.
  • Surgical intervention for the management of osteosarcoma includes the following basic procedures,
    • Limb-sparing Surgery: This surgery involves replacing the bone which is resected, by either an endo-prosthesis (i.e. a metal rod is placed inside the body with muscle, nerves and skin covering it) or a graft, to maintain as much functionality of the limb as possible. 70% to 90% of ostesarcomas are treated using this method. The use of this method however depends upon the size, location and responsiveness of the tumor to chemotherapy.
    • Rotation-plasty Surgery: In this technique, after the removal of the portion of the limb, the limb is rotated and reattached along with a prosthetic device. E.g. For tumors involving the leg, the part of the leg below the knee is removed and reattached so that the ankle becomes the new knee. This is also a type of limb sparing surgery, however, it is used less frequently.
    • Amputation Surgery: The limb is removed and supported by a prosthetic limb. This procedure is used less frequently and only in extreme cases.
  • Occasionally, the patient may require post operative chemotherapy orradiation therapy when the surgeon doubts the possibility of some cancerous cells being left behind.

Post operative Management of Osteosarcoma:

  • For patients who have undergone amputation and require external prosthesis, custom made prosthesis are used. The patient would require a support of a prosthetic expert to provide special training and help him/her adjustment to the new external limb.
  • Prosthesis has a tendency to wear and tear after a period of time, and hence, may require replacement. Endo-prosthesis (i.e. internal prosthesis), have a longer life span of about 20 years but may be associated with complications like infections which may require additional surgery
  • The extent of functionality of the joint would depend upon the level at which the surgery is conducted and if the joint has been removed during the surgery, the patient would not be able to regain the complete functionality of the joint.
  • Constant and regular follow-ups are a must to maintain a healthy life.

Osteosarcoma Management in India:

Over the past decade Indian medical and healthcare infrastructure has exponentially grown with domination of private sector. The private sector involvement in healthcare has enhanced the quality of medical care and multiplied the technological abilities, whilst restricting the escalation of the cost of care. This inevitably has made India one of the most sought after medical tourism destinations in the world, with an annual 15 % rising in the number of foreign patients visiting the country for medical care.

Osteosarcoma Management in Mexico:

Mexican border with the United States is one of the busiest borders in the world, with several Americans crossing the border to seek medical care at lower rates compared to the United States. The biggest advantage that Mexico offers is convenience and speed due to significantly reduced travel time. Furthermore, with internationally trained and culturally well oriented medical teams, most Americans are comfortable in the hands of Mexican doctors.

Osteosarcoma Management in Turkey:

Turkey, located in Western Asia, close to Europe, has evolved as a strong contender in the medical tourism industry. Turkey has about 200,000 international patients visiting the best and renowned healthcare facilities in the country from around the globe. Though most of the international patients belong to Middle East and Europe, Turkey is leveraging its reputation to attract patients from other continents, mainly the United States.

Osteosarcoma Management in Jordan:

Jordan has international patients coming from over 80 different countries, across the world. Jordan has enhanced its healthcare infrastructure to meet international quality specifications and has installed the latest and the most advanced medical technologies in most of its private sector hospitals. This has already attracted over 250,000 international patients from different countries in 2007 alone. Low cost and superior quality of medical care services are attracting several Americans to Jordan to seek medical care.

Osteosarcoma Management in South Korea:

Though, South Korea is located at a distance from North America, it is actively trying to strengthen its medical infrastructure to attract American patients to seek good quality medical care. South Korea has the latest medical equipment technology installed in some of the leading hospitals, which is giving it an edge above its competitors when it comes to accuracy and precision of treatment. In terms of the cost of care, it is comparable and at times fairly lower than other Asian medical tourism destinations.


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Medical Tourism Corporation facilitates affordable chemotherapy treatment in Europe (Turkey) and other overseas world-class oncology treatment destinations.

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