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Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumor in childhood. Every year, approximately 15 children in the Netherlands are diagnosed with osteosarcoma. The disease occurs mainly during puberty and more often in boys than in girls. Osteosarcomas usually develop in the bone tissue of the long bones.

The brochure entitled Bone tumors contains comprehensive information about this disease. The most important information is provided below.

 

Causes

Little is known about what causes bone tumors. Something in the DNA was probably damaged during cell division. It is unclear what causes this error. Nor do we know exactly what suddenly starts the uninhibited division of cells. Sometimes an osteosarcoma is the result of past radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment.

Symptoms

The main symptom is pain in or around the bone. The pain can be vague, but it can also be so severe that your child cannot sleep. Swelling is also common. The tumor can spread to a muscle or joint, preventing your child from making certain movements. Sometimes the bone is so weakened by the tumor that it breaks.

Treatment 

A piece of tumor tissue is removed under anesthesia and then examined under the microscope. Bones and lungs are X-rayed and various scans are performed as well. Bone marrow is extracted under sedation.

Chance of recovery

The chance of recovery for children with osteosarcoma depends on the location and any metastases. The tumor's response to treatment is also an important factor. If the tumor is limited to one location, there is an 80-90% chance of recovery. Any metastases lower the chance of recovery.

Questions?

Children with an osteosarcoma are treated in the solid tumors department.