Osteosarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer. It is most frequently diagnosed in teenagers, although it can also occur in older adults.
Where does bone cancer typically start?
Osteosarcoma can form in any bone of the body, although it most often develops in areas where the bones are growing quickly (e.g., the bones around the knees and shins). Other common locations include the hip bones, shoulder bones and jawbone.
Like other types of sarcoma, osteosarcoma can spread throughout the body. However, osteosarcomas that are fully removed through surgery can sometimes be cured. Because of this, it’s extremely important for patients to obtain comprehensive, multispecialty treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.
How is bone cancer diagnosed?
The most common signs of bone cancer include bone pain and swelling that worsens with activity. A physician will learn about the individual’s symptoms and medical history and then perform a physical examination. Sometimes, a bone tumor can be visible from outside the body, but because cancer can spread to the bones after developing elsewhere in the body, the physician will look for other symptoms, too.
After that, the physician may order diagnostic tests, such as:
- Bone or chest X-rays
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Bone scans
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans
- Blood tests
Bone cancer treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we offer prompt, individualized treatment for adults and teenagers with osteosarcoma. We can treat primary osteosarcomas, as well as tumors that have come back after an initial round of treatment.
We tailor each patient’s treatment plan to his or her unique needs, using cutting-edge technologies and the results of our research to guide our recommendations. For instance, we can use genetic testing to predict the way a patient’s tumor might respond to various forms of treatment, then identify the options that have the most potential. In this way, we are able to match patients with the treatments that are most likely to improve their prognoses while ensuring the best possible quality of life.
At Moffitt, patients can access a wide range of osteosarcoma treatment options, including:
- Surgery (including prosthetic replacement of removed bone segments, if necessary)
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials
Our patients are evaluated and monitored by a team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other medical professionals who specialize in osteosarcoma treatment. Due to our high level of focus, our patients have access to some of the most prominent experts in the field. Additionally, patients are able to receive multiple oncologists’ opinions in a single, convenient location, leading to a more streamlined experience.