Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer characterised by abnormal bone growth, typically at the ends of long bones. It is quite common and affects more males than females. In its early stages, this cancer is asymptomatic, with the patient not feeling any discomfort or pain. However, when the growth becomes more pronounced, there is soreness in the affected area and the bone becomes brittle and more prone to fracture.
Many patients with osteosarcoma of the bone do not have access to quality medical care in their own country and thus seek alternatives from the other side of the border. Patients in Southeast Asia who are considering medical tourism no longer have to travel to Western countries, as advanced, world-class medical care is now widely available in their neighbouring countries namely Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
There are a number of excellent medical facilities in these countries with top-notch oncology centres offering comprehensive cancer care without the associated crippling costs. These facilities feature:
- Teams of highly qualified cancer care specialists including medical, surgical, and radiotherapy oncologists - A good number of them are internationally certified with several years of experience both locally and abroad. These doctors work closely with bone specialists in designing individualised treatment programmes. In most cases, surgery is required to remove cancer tissues and help prevent metastasis. This is often combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for maximum outcomes.
- State-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical tools and equipment – Oncology centres in Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore and Thailand, invest heavily in procuring cutting-edge surgical tools and equipment as well as technology used for bone grafting and transplantation. They also use advanced imaging technology to accurately diagnose the condition. These include bone and CT scans, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A biopsy is also conducted to harvest tumour cells that are examined in a pathology laboratory. The results of these diagnostic procedures help doctors determine the best treatment for the patient.
- Physical therapy programmes – Patients can expect comprehensive treatment programmes that include physical therapy designed to help them regain their range of motion and function following the surgical treatment of osteosarcoma of the bone.
- Medical staff that are highly proficient in several languages, including English – Medical tourists do not have to worry about language barrier, as translation services are widely available in the region.