Facebook Pixel

Is Your Child at Risk for Osteosarcoma?

Rate This
is your child at risk for osteosarcoma via Unsplash

Osteosarcoma. It looks like a scary word. It even sounds frightening when pronounced, but with the proper diagnosis and treatment, most kids with this type of bone cancer do recover. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. In children, it is the sixth most common type of cancer. Osteosarcoma begins in the bones and can spread to other bones or to the lungs.

This type of bone cancer typically develops from ostebolasts, which are the cells that make the growing bone. Teens who are experiencing a growth spurt are commonly affected, and boys are more likely than girls to have it. Most cases involve ostseosarcoma of the knee. Most often seen in teenage boys, evidence seems to suggest that teens who are taller than average are at greater risk for developing this cancer.

The most common symptoms of osteosarcoma or noticeable pain and swelling in the child’s leg or arm. The longer bones of the body are usually the ones affected, above or below the knee or near the shoulder. Pain can become intensified during exercise or at night. After several weeks of pain, swelling or a lump may present in that area that is affected. If a child is consistently awakened by pain in the middle of the night, this is something about which to be concerned.

When osteosarcoma develops in the leg, the child may have a slight limp. Sometimes, the child will incur a broken arm or leg in the developing stages of the disease, as a result of weakened bones due to the cancer. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to have him or her examined by a doctor right away.

In making a diagnosis of osteosarcoma, the doctor will perform a physical exam, inquire as to the child’s medical history, and conduct x-rays that may give attention to changes in bone structure. A bone biopsy will most likely be ordered so that a sample of the tumor can be examined in the lab. The type of surgeon who usually does this type of procedure is known as an orthopedic oncologist.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

To say that "most survive" is misleading, as are reported survival rates of 80%.

February 12, 2010 - 12:36am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Anon - Can you tell us more about why you made this statement? Thanks, Pat

February 12, 2010 - 5:15pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Osteosarcoma Guide


Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!