Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that produces immature bone. It is the most common type of cancer that arises in bones, and it is usually found at the end of long bones, often around the knee. Most people diagnosed with osteosarcoma are under the age of 25, and it is thought to occur more often in males than females. Osteosarcoma can develop as a result of radiation to an area of the body. It can also be associated with specific genetic changes and diseases.
HOW IS OSTEOSARCOMA DIAGNOSED?
An x-ray is often the first diagnostic test that osteosarcoma patients receive, and an experienced radiologist may recognize immediately that bone cancer is the likely diagnosis. There are several additional tests that are a critical part of osteosarcoma diagnosis and staging:
• An MRI of the entire bone where the primary tumor is located.
• A chest x-ray and CT scan of the chest to detect lung metastases
• A bone scan of the body to rule out distant spread of the disease
• A biopsy of the tumor, which provides a definite diagnosis based on the characteristics of tumor tissue seen under a microscope. The biopsy will also show whether the tumor is high grade (highly malignant, which is the case for most osteosarcomas) or low grade.
HOW IS OSTEOSARCOMA TREATED?
The treatment will depend on the kind of tumour that is present in the patient’s body. While a high grade tumour will require many of months of chemotherapy, other tumours can also be removed without causing damage to the affected limbs or bones.
DID YOU KNOW?
This is the 8th most common form of cancer that kids can be affected with and even teens have a high risk of the same.