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Osteosarcoma Causes

A majority of osteosarcoma cases have no ascertainable cause or predisposing factors. In extremely rare cases, osteosarcoma may be attributed to a pre-existing bone disease or certain genetic abnormalities.

Osteosarcoma Definition

Osteosarcoma is a disease characterized by the growth of cancer cells in the bone, commonly affecting adolescents and young adults. While it may occur in any part of the body, a majority of the cases involve a tumor found around the knee. It is alternatively known as ?osteogenic sarcoma?, which literally translates to ?bone forming cancer?.

Osteosarcoma Diagnosis

A complete medical exam may be done when there is suspicion of bone tumor. This typically involves blood tests, as osteosarcomas are linked to elevated levels of some enzymes in the blood. X-rays and other bone scans may also be recommended, along with a biopsy, for a more definite diagnosis.

Osteosarcoma Symptoms and Signs

Initial signs of osteosarcoma involve pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area. Like most sarcomas, osteosarcoma tends to metastasize or spread beyond the original tumor site to other areas of the body. In some cases, osteosarcoma weakens the bones and obstructs movement, sometimes causing a fracture. More specific symptoms of osteosarcoma depend on the location and size of the cancer. In general, common symptoms of osteosarcoma include: tiredness, fever, weight loss, and anemia.

Osteosarcoma Treatment

Treatment for osteosarcomas includes a combination of local therapy and chemotherapy. Local therapy may consist of surgical removal of the cancerous tumor, and, when applicable, radiotherapy to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy usually follows, along with symptom management medications.

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