Primary Bone and Soft Tissue Tumours in the Geriatric Population

Michelle A. Ghert, MD, Clinical Fellow in Musculoskeletal Oncology, University of Toronto, ON, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON. and Peter C. Ferguson, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Department of Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret
Hospital, Toronto, ON.

Primary bone and soft tissue tumours are rare in the general population. While bone malignancies in the geriatric age group are most often due to metastases or multiple myeloma, primary tumours can occur. These are treated with surgical resection and occasionally chemotherapy. Soft tissue sarcomas are more common and are usually treated with a combination of radiation and surgery. The outcome of treatment for bone sarcomas is poorer in the geriatric age group, but this is not true of soft tissue sarcomas. Patients with both primary bone and soft tissue malignancies should be referred to regional cancer centres for management.

Key words: sarcoma, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer

Musculoskeletal complaints are common in the geriatric population, but rarely are these complaints attributable to malignancies.