Dr. Cooper treats sarcomas (malignant tumors that begin in the bones or soft tissues) and metastatic tumors, which have started elsewhere in the body and spread to the bones. At Loyola's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Dr. Cooper works with a multidisciplinary team that includes specialists in radiology, pathology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, thoracic surgery, neurological surgery and genetics.
Conditions Dr. Cooper treats include giant cell-rich tumors; osteosarcomas, chondrosarcomas and soft-tissue sarcomas; bone tumors that originated as lymphomas or myultiple myelomas; and cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, kidney and thyroid that have spread to the bone.
When treating sarcomas, Dr. Cooper takes care to remove the entire tumor and provide a safe margin, while saving the limb from amputation whenever possible. She uses devices such as plates, screws, rods, internal prosthetics and joint replacements to restore as much function as possible.
Dr. Cooper said that when she first sees patients, it often is the worst day of their lives. "It is an emotional time for patients and their families," Dr. Cooper said. "I give them time to allow the news to sink in. I sit down face-to-face and get to know them as we review the available options."
Dr. Cooper is a clinical instructor in the department of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She sees patients at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center in Maywood and Loyola Center for Health in Burr Ridge.
She earned a medical degree and master of public health degree from the University of Rochester. She completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Rochester and a fellowship in orthopaedic oncology at the University of Florida at Gainesville.