Osteosarcoma is a type of malignant bone cancer that most commonly affects children and young adults. It is most often found in the arms and legs, as well as the pelvis. In some cases, it can also affect the spine, ribs and other bones. The exact cause of osteosarcoma is unknown, but it is believed to be linked to genetic factors and environmental exposure.
Osteosarcoma is usually diagnosed with a combination of imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans. A biopsy of the affected area can also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to osteosarcoma include benign tumors, such as osteochondroma, chondromyxoid fibroma and osteoid osteoma, as well as other types of cancer, such as Ewing’s sarcoma, chondrosarcoma and synovial sarcoma.
Treatment for osteosarcoma typically involves chemotherapy and surgery. Chemotherapy is used to reduce the size of the tumor and to kill any cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body. Surgery is used to remove the tumor and any affected bone or cartilage.
The prognosis for osteosarcoma depends on a variety of factors, including the location of the tumor, the size of the tumor, the type of tumor, and the patient’s overall health. Generally, the prognosis is better for patients who receive prompt and effective treatment.