Tumors in the Bone or Soft Tissue

Tumors can form in the bone or soft tissue that connects and supports your musculoskeletal system. When these tumors are malignant, or cancerous, they are called sarcomas. Sarcomas in the musculoskeletal system are considered rare and can spread to the musculoskeletal system from other parts of the body (metastatic tumors). Benign (noncancerous) bone tumors can cause pain and sometimes even fractures, but do not spread.

The most common kinds of musculoskeletal tumors include:

  • Bone cyst
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Enchondroma
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Giant cell tumor
  • Lipoma
  • Liposarcoma
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Myxoma
  • Osteochondroma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Schwanomma
  • Spindle cell sarcoma

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

The symptoms of musculoskeletal tumors can vary and include:

  • Bone fracture
  • Bony mass
  • Pain in a limb
  • Soft tissue mass

Musculoskeletal tumors are rare and are often found because of an unrelated complaint. To diagnose the tumor, the experts at Penn State Health may use several types of imaging technology, including X-ray or a computed tomography (CT) scan. They may test a tissue sample for cancerous cells using image-guided biopsy.

Early diagnosis of a tumor is especially important if it is malignant. The earlier the cancer is found, the more treatment options that may available.

Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Top-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through their commitment to advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

Coordinated, Specialized Care Through a Dedicated Institute

Our orthopaedic specialists work together through our dedicated Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. There, they focus on providing you with multidisciplinary, tailored care and state-of-the-art treatments and technologies. This produces the highest-quality patient outcomes. All physicians at the institute are fellowship-trained and subspecialize in additional niche areas of orthopaedics, including arthritis care and joint arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery).

Designated as a Blue Distinction® Center

Penn State Bone and Joint Institute is a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. This superior designation from BlueCross BlueShield is only given to health care facilities and providers that stand out for their expertise in delivering specialty knee and hip replacement care. Our surgeons specialize in a range of pain-relieving procedures, including partial knee replacement, total joint arthroplasty, joint preservation surgery and complex revision surgery. They perform more than 1,000 joint replacement procedures every year.

Confidence in Treatment Through Education

We developed a special joint replacement education website just for patients undergoing joint arthroplasty. The website takes you step by step through the joint replacement process. From things to consider before choosing surgery to recovery after surgery, you’ll find the information you need to help you feel confident in your decision to undergo joint replacement.

Advancing Orthopaedic Medicine Through Research

The doctors and researchers in our Center for Orthopaedic Research and Translational Science at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to advancing our field through scientific discovery and education. As the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research, in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.

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