Osteosarcoma—Child

(Osteogenic Sarcoma—Child; Sarcoma, Osteogenic—Child)

Definition

Osteosarcoma is a common form of bone cancer. This cancer usually begins in cells called osteoblasts, which make bones. This type of cancer can spread to other parts of the body.

Causes

The cause is not known. There may be a genetic link.

Risk Factors

Risk factors include:
  • Gender: teen boys (may affect them during their growth spurt)
  • Genetic conditions (eg, retinoblastoma , Li-Fraumeni syndrome)
  • History of radiation therapy

Symptoms

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
  • Limping
  • Deep bone pain severe enough to wake up your child
  • Bone fractures (rarely)
If your child has any of these symptoms, talk to the doctor right away.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and do a medical history. A physical exam will also be done. Tests may include:
  • Blood tests
  • X-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of bones
  • Bone scan —a test that looks for bone tumors
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of bones
  • MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of bones
  • Biopsy —removal of a sample of bone tissue to test for cancer cells

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