What is Osteosarcoma?
An osteosarcoma is a cancerous tumor in a bone.
It is a type of cancer that produces immature bone.
Most people diagnosed with osteosarcoma are under the age of 25, and it is thought to occur more often in males than females.
Osteosarcomas may range from low grade tumors that only require surgery to high grade tumors that require an aggressive treatment regimen.
It constitutes 3% of cancers that happen in children. Because osteosarcoma usually develops from osteoblasts (the cells that make growing bone), it most commonly affects teens that are having a growth spurt.
Causes of Osteosarcoma:
The underlying cause of most cases of osteosarcoma are yet unknown.
The following factors may play a role:
- A familial case where the deletion of chromosome inactivates the retinoblastoma gene is associated with a high risk of osteosarcoma development.
- Bone dysplasias increase the risk of osteosarcoma.
- Paget’s disease
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Hereditary multiple exostoses
- Li–Fraumeni syndrome is a predisposing factor for osteosarcoma development.
- Rothmund–Thomson syndrome is associated with increased risk of this disease.
- Undergoing radiation therapy which may lead to mutation.
Symptoms of Osteosarcoma:
Most patients with osteosarcoma do not exhibit any symptoms.
However, in some cases the following symptoms may occur:
- Pain in leg or arm
- Swelling in leg or arm
- Pain may be worse during exercise
- Development of unexplained limp
- Broken arm or leg-weakening of bones
Diagnosis of Osteosarcoma:
The following tests and exams are conducted in order to diagnose osteosarcoma:
- An MRI of the entire bone where the primary tumor is located. This test can rule out “skip metastases” (spread of the tumor to other areas of the bone).
- A chest x-ray and CT scan of the chest to detect lung metastases
- A bone scan of the body to rule out distant spread of the disease
- A biopsy of the tumor, which provides a definite diagnosis based on the characteristics of tumor tissue seen under a microscope.
- The biopsy will also show whether the tumor is high grade (highly malignant, which is the case for most Osteosarcomas) or low grade. Types of biopsy may include:
- Needle aspiration
- Surgical biopsy
Treatment of Osteosarcoma:
Osteosarcoma is treated in the following ways:
- Amputation or rotationplasty
- Neo-adjuvant therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Use of Mifamurtide
- Methotrexate with leucovorin rescue,
- Intra-arterial cisplatin
- Ifosfamide with mesna
- BCD (bleomycin, cyclophosphamide, dactinomycin),
- Muramyl tripeptide
By : Natural Health News