What Are the Basics of Osteosarcoma?

What is osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma, also called osteogenic sarcoma, is the most common type of cancer that starts in the bone and occurs mostly in teenagers and young adults.

It starts when the cells that grow new bone form a cancerous tumor.

Most tumors develop in the bones around the knee, either in the distal femur (the lower part of the thigh bone) or the proximal tibia (the upper part of the shinbone).

The upper arm bone close to the shoulder is the next most common site.

Based on how the cells look under the microscope, osteosarcomas can be classified as:

High-grade osteosarcomas

  • Osteoblastic
  • Chondroblastic
  • Fibroblastic
  • Small cell
  • Telangiectatic
  • High-grade surface (juxtacortical high grade)
  • Pagetoid
  • Extraskeletal
  • Post-radiation

Intermediate-grade osteosarcomas

  • Periosteal

Low-grade osteosarcomas

  • Parosteal (juxtacortical low grade)
  • Intramedullary or intraosseous well differentiated (low-grade central)

The grade of tumor plays a role in determining its stage and the type of treatment used.

What are the signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma?

Symptoms of osteosarcoma vary depending on the location of the tumor. Common signs of this type of cancer include:

  • bone pain (in motion, at rest, or when lifting objects)
  • bone fractures
  • swelling
  • redness
  • limping
  • limitation of motion of joints

Contact a doctor if your child has any of the above symptoms for some time.

What are the causes of osteosarcoma?

The occurrence of osteosarcoma can be attributed to following factors:

  • Genetics
  • Previous radiation therapy
  • Rapid bone growth

What are treatment options for osteosarcoma?

Treatments for osteosarcoma vary depending on several things, such as the location, the growth speed and the stage of the tumor. Age and overall health are also factored in.

Most people with osteosarcoma are treated through:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

Consult your doctor to help you find one that might be a good match.

Keywords: osteosarcoma; osteosarcoma treatment; osteosarcoma symptoms; osteosarcoma cancer

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.