What are the symptoms of osteosarcoma?
Signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma vary from case-to-case, depending on the size and location of the tumor and the patient’s age and health prior to diagnosis.
Symptoms can include:
- Pain, especially in the site of the tumor
- Swelling around affected areas
- Decreased motion in the joints
- Weak bones (which, in rare cases, can lead to fractures)
- General fatigue
- Weight loss
Are there any known risk factors?
A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of developing a disease such as cancer. Different diseases have different risk factors.
Lifestyle-related factors such as body weight, physical health, diet, and tobacco usage are well-known to contribute heavily to adult cancers. However, these factors usually take many years to influence cancer risks and are not thought to play as significant of a role in pediatric cancer.
Known risk factors for osteosarcoma include:
- Age – the risk of osteosarcoma is highest for those between the ages of 10 and 30, especially during a growth spurt, suggestion a potential link between rapid bone growth and tumor formation
- Height – children with osteosarcoma are often tall for their age
- Gender – osteosarcoma is more common in males than in females. However, females tend to develop it earlier, possibly to due to generally having growth spurts earlier
- Race/ethnicity – Osteosarcoma is more common in African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos than in whites
- Radiation to bones – Previous encounters with radiation therapy for another cancer might have a higher risk of later developing osteosarcoma in the treated area. Two things can lead to a higher risk of Osteosarcoma; radiation treatment at a young age and being treated with higher doses of radiation
- Bone disease – People with certain non-cancerous bone diseases (such as Paget’s disease or osteochondromas) have an increases risk of developing osteosarcoma
- Inherited cancer syndromes – Though it is rare, people with certain inherited genes may have an increased risk of osteosarcoma. Some diseases with recorded links to risk include retinoblastoma, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, Bloom syndrome, Werner syndrome, and Diamond-Blackfan anemia
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