• Osteosarcoma—Child

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


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


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

    Risk Factors

    Osteosarcoma is more common in teenage boys.
    Factors that may increase the risk of osteosarcoma include:
    • Genetic conditions, such as retinoblastoma and Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • History of radiation therapy


    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 (rare)


    You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
    Your child's bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
    Images may be taken of your child's bodily structures. This can be done with:


    Once cancer is found, the doctor will do staging tests to find out if the cancer has spread. Treatment depends on the stage and location of the cancer. Talk with the doctor and healthcare team about the best treatment plan for your child. Options include:


    Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells.


    Surgery involves the removal of the tumor, nearby tissues, and nearby lymph nodes. Surgery may require amputation of the limb . Whenever possible, the doctor will try to remove the cancerous part of the bone without amputation. Sometimes, treatment with chemotherapy can help avoid the need for amputation.


    With radiation therapy, radiation is directed at the tumor to kill the cancer cells.
    Radiation of Tumor
    Radiation of Tumor
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    There are no current guidelines to prevent osteosarcoma.


    American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org

    National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov


    BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Childhood cancer: osteosarcoma. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cancer-osteosarcoma.html. Updated September 2014. Accessed September 6, 2016.

    Ewing sarcoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114929/Ewing-sarcoma. Updated October 29, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2016.

    Osteosarcoma in children. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/osteosarcoma. Accessed September 6, 2016.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.