Osteogenic sarcoma, or osteosarcoma, is the most common form of bone cancer, accounts for 6 percent of all instances of the disease, and for about 5 percent of all cancers that occur in children.
A metastatic osteosarcoma has spread to the lungs, to bones not directly connected to the bone in which the tumor originated, or to other tissues or organs.
Because osteosarcoma is so rare, patients should consider undergoing treatment at a major cancer center staffed by specialists familiar with the disease.
Cytogenic and molecular genetic studies, which assess the structure and composition of chromosomes and genes, may also be used to diagnose osteosarcoma.
A bone that has been broken or exposed to high doses of radiation used to treat other cancers is more likely than other bones to develop osteosarcoma.
A localized osteosarcoma has not spread beyond the bone where it arose or beyond nearby muscles, tendons, and other tissues.
The next likely location for an osteosarcoma is the bone of the upper arm closest to the shoulder (the proximal humerus).
Children with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and other solid tumors are candidates for surgery, however.
Nine hundred new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed in the United States every year.
When an osteosarcoma develops in the jawbone, the entire lower jaw is removed.