ABC Medical Center > Osteosarcoma

What is Osteosarcoma?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It refers to an oncological condition in the bones, mainly in the lower and upper limbs, although it can occur in any bone tissue and, on some occasions, in the surrounding soft tissue.

Adolescents and young people are the most vulnerable groups, but cases have been found in children and the elderly.

Until now, the cause of the appearance of osteosarcoma is unknown, but it has been identified that this type of cancer develops when one of the cells responsible for producing new bone suffers alterations in its DNA, forming a tumor that can destroy healthy tissue and spread in the body.

Several factors can increase the chances of developing osteosarcoma, such as:

  • Paget’s disease.
  • Fibrous dysplasia.
  • Various genetic disorders.
  • Radiotherapy.

Signs and symptoms Osteosarcoma

The characteristic symptoms consist of:

  • Aching bones and joints.
  • Swelling around the bone.
  • Fractures or injuries with no apparent cause.

Possible risks:

Complications that can result from osteosarcoma include:

  • Amputation of the affected limb to eradicate cancer.
  • Metastases to the lungs and other bones.

Diagnosis and treatment Osteosarcoma

To detect osteosarcoma, your doctor, in addition to performing a physical examination and checking your medical history, will order blood tests and the following imaging studies:

  • Bone scintigraphy.
  • X-rays.
  • MRI.
  • Computed tomography.
  • Positron emission tomography.

They will also perform a biopsy to know if it is cancer cells, what type of cancer it is, and its level of aggression. This biopsy can be by puncture or surgical.

Treatment will be based on the type of osteosarcoma you have, where it started, and how far along it is, but it usually includes chemotherapy treatments, surgery, and sometimes radiation therapy.

If you require surgical treatment, this may consist of:

  • Surgery to remove the tumors seeking to preserve the affected limbs.
  • Amputation of the affected limb.
  • Rotationplasty to cut only the lower part of the leg.

Currently, advances in the treatment of osteosarcoma have allowed obtaining good results to eradicate this type of cancer, although you will require regular check-ups for life to monitor the possible late effects of treatments.

Since its opening in 2009, our Cancer Center offers chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments at the level of the best medical centers in the world through a comprehensive care model for cancer patients.


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  • Rivas-Berny C, Méndez-Domínguez N, Alejos-Gómez R. Prevalencia en México del tumor de células gigantes, osteosarcoma y condrosarcoma (2013-2017). Acta Ortop Mex. 2020;34(3):183-188. doi:10.35366/97071.
  • Delgadillo-Alcaráz V, Cuevas-De AC, Flores-Navarro HH, et al. Preservación de extremidad con aloinjerto óseo en un paciente pediátrico con osteosarcoma. Rev Med MD. 2018;9.10(3):275-278.
  • de Armas L, Delgado D, Alvarado K, et al. Osteosarcoma: Etiología, diagnóstico y tratamiento. Rev Clin Esc Med. 2018;8(4):1-5.

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