Osteosarcoma is the most common malignant bone tumor.
The scientific advances of the last 25 years have led to a significant improvement in treatment outcomes.
Advances in surgery have also improved the quality of life of children and adolescents suffering from osteosarcoma.
Who suffers from osteosarcoma?
The age peak is between the ages of 10 and 25.
This has led the researchers to believe that there must be a connection between the disease and the bone growth phase. Male patients are affected almost twice as often as female patients.
In children and adolescents, in 60% of cases, these tumors occur near the knee joint, at the bone end of the femur and shin.
Signs and symptoms
Osteosarcoma mainly affects the long tubular bones. The symptoms are pain and sometimes swelling and overheating.
Often, the development is only recognized when the child or adolescent suffers an injury.
However, it is not the injury that caused the tumor, it has merely focused the doctor’s attention on the condition.
The mobility of the joint may be limited.
Disease stages of sarcoma
The classification into disease stages is carried out in relation to the method of classification of doctors for cancer.
The following are assessed: location of occurrence, spread and involvement of lymph nodes or other parts of the body, size, growth rate and various other factors.
Osteosarcoma is diagnosed by taking a sample (biopsy).
Because the condition spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, especially the lungs, the doctor may order an X-ray or computed tomography of the thorax before treatment.
Treatment is primarily surgical. As a rule, the surgeon removes the tumor and part of the surrounding tissue (extensive clearance), then the limb is reconstructed by insertion of a prosthesis, bone grafting or other techniques.
Before undergoing any procedures, a specialist in surgical oncology should be consulted and possibly a second opinion should be obtained.
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