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Signs and Symptoms of Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is a type of primary bone cancer that affects the long bones of the arms and legs, and sometimes the skull, pelvis and jaw. It is the sixth most common cancer in children, and affects mostly children and young adults under age thirty. The most common age of diagnosis in children is age fifteen. A second wave of incidence occurs in among adults in their sixties and seventies. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Osteosarcoma include:

  • Bone pain
  • Bone pain that is worse at night
  • Unusual bone fracture
  • Pain when lifting objects when the tumor is in the arm
  • Limping when the tumor is in the leg
  • Swelling, tenderness or redness at the site of the tumor

Most bone tumors are benign, but if you experience any of these signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma, see your doctor.

Osteosarcoma usually develops during the period of rapid growth in adolescents, at the time that teenagers mature into adults. It is slightly more common in boys than in girls during late adolescence, but equally common in both boys and girls in children.

The cause of osteosarcoma is unknown. There is, however, a genetic link in some families.

Diagnosis of Osteosarcoma

A diagnosis of osteosarcoma begins with an x-ray, and leads to a combination of imaging tests which may include a CT scan, an MRI, a PET scan and a bone scan. A definitive diagnosis of osteosarcoma must include a bone biopsy, for only a biopsy can tell if a tumor is malignant or benign. A bone biopsy should be performed by a qualified orthopedic oncologist. An improperly performed bone scan results in a higher risk of future limb amputation.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
ICON Health Publications

What’s Up with Lyndon?: Medikidz Explain Osteosarcoma (Medikidz Explain [Cancer XYZ])
Kim Chilman-Blair

The Official Parent’s Sourcebook on Osteosarcoma: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
Icon Health Publications

Childhood Bone Cancer – Osteosarcoma and Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH) of Bone: Pediatric Cancer Guide to Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Clinical Trials (DVD-ROM)
Medical Ventures Press

Osteosarcoma Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of osteosarcoma/malignant fibrous histiocytoma of bone.

  • American Cancer Society

Learn about osteosarcoma from the American Cancer Society.

  • Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

A US Department of Health and Human Service project providing information on genetic and rare diseases. A comprehensive body of resources on Osteosarcoma.

  • About . com

Osteosarcoma the most common type of bone cancer among young adults. Learn the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of osteosarcoma.

  • Comer Children’s Hospital

Some of the nation’s leading experts on osteosarcoma care for patients at Comer Children’s Hospital

  • Cancer Compass

Do you have questions about osteosarcoma research and treatment? Join our online cancer forum for information and resources.,0,119,65,68.htm

  • RD

Osteosarcoma information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • E Health Forum

Health information, forum topics, doctor answers, and news about osteosarcoma

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Learn about osteosarcoma diagnosis and treatment options at Mayo Clinic.

  • Pub Med Health

Reviews causes, incidence, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, prognosis and complications.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.