What is osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer. It is most common in teenagers and young adults. Osteosarcoma usually develops in the long bones of the body, such as the legs and arms. In very rare cases, it can also develop in soft tissue.

What are the symptoms of osteosarcoma?

Symptoms of osteosarcoma may include:

  • A bruised-looking purple-colored area on the skin that may bleed when scratched
  • A bruised area on the skin that gets bigger over time
  • Pain in an organ, such as the liver

How is osteosarcoma treated?

Treatment for osteosarcoma may depend on the size and stage of the cancer and if it has spread to other parts of the body. Treatments for osteosarcoma may include:

  • Surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. In some cases, parts of the affected limb may also need to be removed.
  • Radiation therapy to destroy the tumor if surgery is not possible, or to help keep the cancer from growing back.
  • Chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before surgery or help kill any cancer cells that have spread to other parts of your body.

What are the risk factors for osteosarcoma?

Risk factors for angiosarcoma include:

  • Having had previous radiation therapy
  • Having lymphedema, a type of swelling caused by extra lymph fluid backing up in the tissues
  • Being exposed to certain chemicals that may cause cancer