Osteosarcoma is a word no child should ever have to know. The cause of this cancer that primarily affects children and young adults is unknown. Codi wanted to include information and resources about osteosarcoma for children and parents who may be dealing with this disease. While we ultimately lost Codi, many child victims of bone cancer do indeed survive and thrive.
Beginning of Codi’s Original Site
Osteosarcoma is a cancer that starts in the bone – usually in the arm or the leg, but it can occur anywhere. The cause is unknown, but it primarily affects children and young adults. Osteosarcoma is frequently discovered following an injury to a bone in the arm or leg. While we may think of bone as hard or “dead,” it is really a living tissue made up of living cells. Like other cells, bone cells can become cancerous.
Pain in a bone is the most common complaint of patients with osteosarcoma. At first, the pain is not constant and may be worse at night. The pain gets worse with activity and may result in a limp if a leg is involved.
Swelling in the area of the pain may not occur until weeks later. Depending on the location of the tumor, it may be possible to feel a lump or mass. Although the bone cancer may weaken the bone it develops in, they do not usually break.
If certain symptoms suggest bone cancer, the doctor will use one or more methods to find out if the disease is really present. After taking a medical history and doing a physical exam one or more of the following tests will be done:
Tests to diagnose osteosarcoma
- Bone x-rays
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Chest x-ray
- CT scans (computed tomography)
- Radionuclide bone scan
Treatment varies depending on size, location, and how much it has spread, but frequently chemotherapy is used. Surgery is performed to remove the bone that is affected by the tumor.
In my case surgery called rotationplasty was performed on my left leg. This surgery involves amputation of the leg above the knee, and removal of the foot with the ankle, which is then turned around and attached where the amputation was performed. This allows the ankle to function as a knee joint.
Although the chemotherapy has not worked to get rid of the cancer, we are hopeful that Depsipeptide does. Depsipeptide is a new and exciting advance in medical science to fight cancer.
Selected Osteosarcoma and Related Links
- Questions and Answers About Bone Cancer (National Cancer Institute)
- What Is Bone Cancer? (American Cancer Society)
- Bone Metastasis (American Cancer Society)
- What Is Osteosarcoma? (American Cancer Society)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Osteosarcoma (National Institutes of Health)
- Bone Density Scan (National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center)
- Bone Scan (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- NIH Bone Scan (National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center)
- Can Bone Cancer Be Found Early? (American Cancer Society)
- How Is Bone Cancer Diagnosed? (American Cancer Society)
- How Is Bone Cancer Staged? (American Cancer Society)
- Bone Metastasis Diagnosis (American Cancer Society)
- How Is Osteosarcoma Found? (American Cancer Society)
- Atlas of the Body: The Skeleton — Side View (American Medical Association)
- What Are the Risk Factors for Bone Cancer? (American Cancer Society)
- What Causes Osteosarcoma? (American Cancer Society)
- Single-Dose Radiation Cost Effective for Cancer Bone Pain (American Cancer Society)
- What’s New in Bone Cancer Research and Treatment? (American Cancer Society)
- Bone Metastasis Research and Treatment (American Cancer Society)
- What’s New in Osteosarcoma Research and Treatment? (American Cancer Society)
- What You Need to Know about… Sarcoma and Other Tumors in Paget’s Disease (Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases-National Resource Center)
- How Is Bone Metastasis Treated? (American Cancer Society)
- How is Osteosarcoma Treated? (American Cancer Society)
- Osteosarcoma/Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone (PDQ): Treatment (National Cancer Institute)
- What Can You Tell Me About Bone and Tissue Transplantation? (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
- Cancer.gov Dictionary (National Cancer Institute)
- What Are The Key Statistics About Osteosarcoma? (American Cancer Society)
- Key Statistics For Bone Cancer? (American Cancer Society)
- Key Statistics for Ewing’s Family of Tumors? (American Cancer Society)
- Childhood Cancer: Osteosarcoma (Nemours Foundation)