Understanding Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Oncology

Considerations for prognosis and treatment of primary bone tumors

John H. Healey, MD, FACS

Sex-dependent differences in the incidence, etiology, and treatment of musculoskeletal tumors rarely receive adequate attention in clinical study protocols and have yet to be fully investigated. Due to their low incidence, primary bone tumors are infrequently encountered in a general orthopaedic surgical practice, so opportunities for firsthand observations of these differences are limited. However, cultivating a greater awareness of the sexual dimorphism in the genetics, metabolism, and epidemiology of these lesions can facilitate the use of more efficient diagnostic practices and more effective treatment strategies for patients who have these tumors.

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