by EBSCO Medical Review Board
(Osteogenic Sarcoma—Child; Sarcoma, Osteogenic—Child)


Osteosarcoma is a common form of bone cancer. It can spread to other parts of the body.


The cause is not known. It may be due to changes in genes.

Risk Factors

It is more common in boys 10-19 years old.

Here are some factors that may raise your risk:

  • Genetic problems, such as retinoblastoma and Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Past radiation therapy


Symptoms are usually in the upper and lower long bones and pelvis. They are:

  • Bone pain that may worsen with activity
  • Swelling
  • A large lump


You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

Pictures may be taken of your child's body. This can be done with:

A biopsy of the site can confirm the diagnosis.


When cancer is found, your child will be referred to a team that focuses on cancer in children. The doctor will do staging tests to find out if the cancer has spread. Treatment depends on the stage and site of the cancer. Talk with the doctor and healthcare team about the best plan for your child.

Your child may have:


Surgery removes the tumor, nearby tissues, and nearby lymph nodes. The limb may need to be amputated . The doctor will try to remove the cancer without amputation. Sometimes, treatment with chemotherapy can help avoid it.


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells.


With this therapy, radiation is aimed at the tumor to kill the cancer cells.

Radiation of Tumor
Radiation of Tumor
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There are no current methods to prevent osteosarcoma.


American Cancer Society 

National Cancer Institute 


BC Cancer—Provincial Health Services Authority 

Canadian Cancer Society 


Childhood cancer: osteosarcoma. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: Accessed January 29, 2021.

Osteosarcoma in children. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: Accessed January 29, 2021.

Osteosarcoma in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed January 29, 2021.

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