Osteosarcoma is the most common type of a rare pediatric cancer that develops in bone. Like the osteoblasts in normal bone, the cells that form this cancer make bone matrix. But the bone matrix of an osteosarcoma is not as strong as that of normal bones.
In children and young adults, osteosarcoma usually develops in areas where the bone is growing quickly, such as near the ends of the long bones. Most tumors develop in the bones around the knee, either in the distal femur (the lower part of the thigh bone) or the proximal tibia (the upper part of the shinbone). The proximal humerus (the part of the upper arm bone close to the shoulder) is the next most common site. However, osteosarcoma can develop in any bone, including the bones of the pelvis (hips), shoulder, and jaw. This is especially true in older adults.
Osteosarcoma is not a common cancer. Each year, about 800 new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed in the United States. About 400 of these are in children and teens.
Most osteosarcomas occur in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30. Teens are the most commonly affected age group, but osteosarcoma can occur in people of any age. About 10% of all osteosarcomas occur in people over the age of 60.
Osteosarcomas account for about 2% of childhood cancers, but they make up a much smaller percentage of adult cancers.
The prognosis (outlook) for people with osteosarcoma depends on many factors, including the location of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) when it’s first found, and the person’s age
The types of treatment used for osteosarcomas include:Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy (in certain cases)