I was just curious about something. If someone had bone cancer (say a 12-year-old girl) and they had their leg amputated and the cancer hadn't spread anywhere else, how long would it be before the doctors would start chemotherapy. I've heard two different answers - A) they wouldn't wait and would start ASAP or B) They would wait a couple months until the patient got used to a prosthetic leg.
It would all depend on type, spread, her doctors preferences, HER preferences, her general health, how well she tolerates the amputation, ect, ect... These types of cancers are now more than 80% curable with surgery alone if no metastasis has been found. There really may not be a need for further treatment if the cancer was indeed found early, before spread. Chemo can be damaging to healthy cells. So, if there truly is no metastasis, I would think the surgery may very well be a cure for this girl. But, like I said. It depends on many factors, and isn't very cut and dry.
I think it would be ASAP in most cases, but depends on all those factors.
A friend of mine at the hospital I was treated at had osteogenic sarcoma in her femur and she underwent what is known as a "limb savage procedure" which removes the cancerous part of the bone, but spares the rest of the limb and the absent bone is replaced with an implan. For her, chemotherapy began within a week of surgery. Didn't make a difference to prevent spread in her case however: cancer was found in the hipbone of the same leg within a couple of weeks and after radiation to the site and further, intensive chemotherapy, more tumors were found in the other hipbone and lungs. At that point, the disease cure rate drops to 10% and it is either experimental treatment, pallaitive radiation/chemotherapy to try to keep the tumors stable for as long as possible, stop of all treatment, or more intensive chemotherapy to see if that works. She thankfully achieved a remission after experimental chemotherapy, only after conventional therapy failed.