Osteosarcoma is a common form of bone cancer. This cancer usually begins in bone-making cells called osteoblasts. This type of cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
Osteosarcoma is more common in teenage boys.
Factors that may increase the risk of osteosarcoma include:
- Genetic conditions, such as retinoblastoma and Li-Fraumeni syndrome
- History of radiation therapy
Symptoms may include:
- Swelling or a lump at the location of the tumor—usually affects longer bones
- Pain at the tumor location
- Difficulty moving the affected limb
- Deep bone pain severe enough to wake up your child
- Bone fractures (rare)
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your child's bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
Images may be taken of your child's bodily structures. This can be done with:
Once cancer is found, the doctor will do staging tests to find out if the cancer has spread. Treatment depends on the stage and location of the cancer. Talk with the doctor and healthcare team about the best treatment plan for your child. Options include:
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells.
Surgery involves the removal of the tumor, nearby tissues, and nearby lymph nodes. Surgery may require amputation of the limb . Whenever possible, the doctor will try to remove the cancerous part of the bone without amputation. Sometimes, treatment with chemotherapy can help avoid the need for amputation.
With radiation therapy, radiation is directed at the tumor to kill the cancer cells.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 06/2016 -
- Update Date: 05/28/2014 -