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Introduction of the Department of Musculoskeletal Cancer Surgery

March 17, 2020  []

The department at present has a capacity of more than 50 open beds and is staffed by a collaborative team of nurses, doctors and support worker with the mission providing treatment and care for musculoskeletal cancer patients and conducting medical research and providing medical training for interns and doctors in the presidency-program. There are six full-time experienced orthopedic surgeons and one or two rotary doctors. The founder and current director of the department, Professor Xiao Jiwei, chief surgeon, who graduated from West China University of Medical Sciences as a gainer of a Master’s degree in medicine in 1993 and has been working as an orthopedist in Sichuan Cancer Hospital ever since then, is a dedicated orthopedic surgeon with special interest in musculoskeletal oncology and a range of abilities in providing diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal tumors.

Musculoskeletal tumors, which can be divided into noncancerous type and cancerous type, frequently occur in the extremities and the spine. The cancerous type, musculoskelatel cancer, a generic term for a variety of malignant tumors including cancers and sarcomas, which is clinically further divided into primary cancer, secondary cancer and metastatic cancer, is comparatively life-threatening and refractory with high morbidity and mortality rate. The common types seen at our department are skin cancer such as melanoma and squamous cell cancer, soft tissue sarcoma such as liposarcoma and fibrosarcoma, and bone sarcomas such as osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma, and skeletal metastases from a cancer or sarcoma in other part of the body. The number of the patients that we evaluate each year is among the highest in the southwest China.

Although all the musculoskeletal cancers are not curable, not least middle or advanced stage cancer with a pathological fracture from skeletal metastasis in the spine or a limb bone, we believe all the patients can benefit from our treatment and care. We treat musculoskeletal cancer patients with the individualized and multidisciplinary approach aiming at gaining better curative effect, releasing our patients’ pain, and improving their quality of life. Throughout the diagnosis and treatment we are supported by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, internists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nurse coordinator. The treatment option we bring to our patients is individualized tailored to their individual situation and needs. For example, our treatment option for a patient with a stage two melanoma in his left leg is tumor’s wide excision and the left inguinal lymph node dissection followed by chemotherapy and immunotherapy, curettage and bone graft for a patient with an osteoblastoma in the proximal end of her right tibia, whereas amputation followed by chemotherapy for a patient with stage two osteosarcoma in the distal end of his right femur.

In our view, surgery is the crucial part of the whole treatment of musculoskeletal cancers. A variety of operations suitable for bone and soft tissue sarcomas, either all types of amputations or various limb salvage surgeries including soft tissue tumor’s wide resection and repair with a myocutaneous flap or bone tumor’s segemental resection and joint replacement with a prosthesis, can be performed by the orthopedic oncologists of our team. And we have successfully performed a lot of operations for our patients during the past more than twenty years.

Professor Xiao Jiwei see patients at the clinic every Monday and Wednesday morning. If you have any question, please visit our clinics.

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