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What does osteosarcoma mean in medical terms?
(OS-tee-oh-sar-KOH-muh) A cancer of the bone that usually affects the large bones of the arm or leg.
What is the other name for osteosarcoma?
Osteosarcoma (also called osteogenic sarcoma) is the most common type of cancer that starts in the bones. The cancer cells in these tumors look like early forms of bone cells that normally help make new bone tissue, but the bone tissue in an osteosarcoma is not as strong as that in normal bones.
What causes osteosarcoma?
Most osteosarcomas are not caused by inherited gene mutations, but instead are the result of gene changes acquired during the person’s lifetime. Sometimes these gene changes are caused by radiation therapy used to treat another form of cancer, because radiation can damage the DNA inside cells.
What is a fracture caused by cancer called?
Pathologic fractures are frequently caused by tumors. Tumors may originate in the vertebrae, or may be the result of cancer that has spread from elsewhere in the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
How aggressive is osteosarcoma?
Osteosarcoma is a disease primarily of adolescents and young adults, although it can occur in older individuals. In older individuals it can frequently be linked to Paget’s disease, fibrous dysplasia or radiation exposure. In younger individuals it is virtually always high grade and is a highly aggressive tumor.
Can osteosarcoma be cured?
Today, about 3 out of 4 people who have osteosarcoma can be cured if the cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body. Almost everyone who is treated with limb-sparing surgery ends up with that arm or leg working well. Many people who have osteosarcoma will need physical therapy for several months after surgery.
Can you recover from osteosarcoma?
Generally, most children and teens recovering from osteosarcoma do well. Based on the type of treatment your child received, the doctor will determine what examinations and tests are needed to check for long-term side effects, such as heart problems, hearing loss, kidney damage, and the secondary cancers.
Are there any bones that break from osteosarcoma?
Although osteosarcoma might weaken the bone it develops in, fractures (breaks) are not common. Exceptions are rare telangiectatic osteosarcomas, which tend to weaken bones more than other forms of osteosarcoma and are more likely to cause breaks at the tumor site.
How old is the average person with osteosarcoma?
Osteosarcoma is a very rare type of cancerous bone tumor that usually develops in teenagers. It often occurs when a teen is growing rapidly. Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children. Average age at diagnosis is 15.
What kind of pain does osteosarcoma cause?
Pain in the affected bone (usually around the knee or in the upper arm) is the most common symptom of osteosarcoma. At first, the pain might not be constant and might be worse at night. The pain often increases with activity and might result in a limp if the tumor is in a leg bone.
Where does osteosarcoma usually start in the body?
Where does osteosarcoma start? In children and teens, osteosarcoma often happens at the ends of long bones, where bone grows fastest. Most tumors start around the knee, in either the lower part of the thighbone or the upper part of the shinbone. They also may grow in the upper arm bone close to the shoulder.