There are not currently any osteosarcoma screening methods that can reliably detect this type of cancer in people who do not have symptoms. However, there are several tests that can determine if a person is more likely to develop osteosarcoma in the future as a result of an inherited genetic abnormality.
Most osteosarcomas develop in people who have no known genetic or environmental risk factors. However, genetic testing may be recommended for people who have a family history of one of the following conditions:
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome
- Hereditary retinoblastoma
- Rothmund-Thompson syndrome
People who have been diagnosed with a noncancerous condition of the bones, such as Paget’s disease or osteochondroma, may also have an elevated risk of developing osteosarcoma. Medical surveillance may be advised for these individuals as well.
Although genetic tests cannot predict whether a person will develop osteosarcoma, they are still beneficial in the absence of an official screening method. Several studies have suggested that among people who are genetically pre-disposed to Li-Fraumeni syndrome-related cancers, annual blood tests and whole-body MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans can help facilitate early detection of cancer and potentially improve the outcome.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, individuals who are worried about their risk of developing osteosarcoma risk can obtain genetic screening services and lab work. Our oncologists can provide individualized recommendations for anyone who is found to have an elevated risk of developing osteosarcoma as a result of an inherited condition.