Orthopaedic Oncology

A team of specialists

As part of the state sarcoma team, Dr Rhys Clark works within the specialised department based out of Sir Charles Gardiner hospital. The vast team of specialists includes other orthopaedic surgeons, as well as plastic, general, and vascular surgeons. There are also radiologist, medical and radiation oncologist, pathologist, and specialised nurses.

“As a training doctor I never thought that I would be treating cancer; however, orthopaedic oncology has become an integral part of my work. Often, after we have treated someone for a sarcoma, we have been through such a journey together and naturally develop a long-lasting relationship,” says Dr Rhys Clark

What is sarcoma?

It’s a type of cancer that arises in specialised tissue such as muscle, bone, nerves, fat, and many others. In adults, sarcomas are most likely to occur in the soft tissues but can also regularly occur in bone. In children, it’s more likely that the sarcoma will be present in the bone, but there are always exceptions to this.

Patients are usually referred to Rhys with a lump or an unusual appearance on a Xray. These images are then reviewed to see if further imaging or a biopsy are needed. A vast majority turn out to be benign; however, there are some more sinister lesions picked up.

What if I find a lump?

Finding an unknown lump can cause a lot of anxiety, so it’s important that the necessary tests and imaging are done quickly to accurately make the diagnosis. It is often difficult as initially you may have a lot of questions regarding what is happening; however, making an accurate diagnosis is essential. Once the diagnosis is made, you will get more information on what it is, how it is going to behave, and the treatment options available.

Common Benign lesions

Rhys’s sarcoma team investigate a lot of sarcomas and a vast majority of these lesions turn out to be benign. Some of the more common benign lesions are:

  • Lipoma
  • Myxoma
  • Schwannoma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Perineurioma
  • Giant cell tumour (GCT) of soft tissue
  • Giant cell tumour (GCT) of Bone
  • Osteoid Osteoma
  • Osteoblastoma
  • A Bone cyst
  • Non ossifying fibroma
  • Simple bone cyst
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Enchondroma