Osteosarcoma is a cancer that usually develops in areas where bones grow rapidly, like at the end of long bones in the humerus (upper arm), femur (thigh), and tibia (shin) or in flat bones such as the pelvis (hip) and skull.

It is the most common type of cancer in children and teens.


The cause of osteosarcoma is unknown, although experts believe genetics, environmental exposures or bone metabolism may play a role.


Common signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma are:

  • Pain at the location of the tumor

  • Swelling at the location of the tumor

  • Limping, if the leg is affected

  • Increased pain with activity

  • Decreased movement in the affected limb


To determine if your child has osteosarcoma, your specialized doctor may perform diagnostic tests such as:

  • Physical exam

  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scan or bone scan

  • Biopsy

  • Blood tests

  • Heart evaluation

  • Hearing test


Our expert doctors will determine the best course of treatment based on your child’s age, overall health, location of the tumor and other factors. Your child’s doctor will discuss all options for the best outcome for your child. To comprehensively treat osteosarcoma, your child’s doctor may recommend one or a combination of surgery or chemotherapy.

Non-Surgical Treatment


Surgical Treatment

In the past, amputation was frequently used to treat osteosarcoma. However today, a procedure called limb-salvage surgery can often be performed instead of amputation. During this surgical procedure, the doctor removes the cancerous tumor as well as some of the tissue around it.

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Bone Tumors