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Loyola orthopaedic surgeon talks about saving limbs after bone cancer

Dr. Lukas Nystrom, an orthopaedic surgeon, specializes in orthopaedic oncology. He says doctors will often take the approach of watchful waiting for benign tumors, but sometimes they are operated upon. Malignant tumors are treated with a multidisciplinary approach, combining orthopaedic oncology, radiation oncology or medical oncology, depending on a patient's diagnosis.

Most of his bone cancer patients, unfortunately, are younger people often under 20 years of age. Soft tissue cancer patients usually are older. He talks about the complex process of diagnosing such conditions. Treatments have improved and now doctors can save a patient from amputation in many cases.

Research in the field of orthopaedic oncology is now focusing on genetic and molecular markers, which will lead to more individualized treatment. Intraoperative imaging also is quickly changing how orthopaedic oncologists approach surgery. Dr. Nystrom is focusing on localized treatments for bone cancer in research right now.

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