I chose oncology because you take care of the whole person--in fact, their whole family. When a child has cancer, you really become their doctor, not just for a part of their body like their heart or their lungs, but for everything.
--Lisa Diller, MD, clinical director of Pediatric Oncology
A diagnosis of osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer that occurs most often in teenagers, is extremely difficult for any parent. Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that usually occurs in the long bones, such as the arms or legs. It can also occur in the pelvis and spine. In rare cases, it can be in the jaw or other locations in the body.
- It’s the most common type of bone cancer in children and young adults.
- There are about 600 cases of osteosarcoma in the United States per year.
- Osteosarcoma occurs most commonly in teenagers, when the rate of bone growth is the fastest. However, it can affect young children and adults, as well.
- It can spread to other areas of the body, including lungs, bone and—much less commonly—kidneys, the adrenal gland, the brain, and the heart.
- The cause is unknown, but genetics can play a role.
- Treatment most often involves surgery and chemotherapy.
How Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center approaches osteosarcoma
Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures in-depth discussion of each case and personalized treatment plans for every patient. We integrate expertise from the following specialists:
- pediatric oncologists, oncologic orthopedists and oncologic surgeons
- pediatric experts from every medical subspecialty, such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, physical therapy and radiology, among others
- highly skilled and experienced pediatric oncology nurses
- Child Life specialists, psychologists, social workers and resource specialists who provide supportive care before, during and after treatment
We provide the option of participating in the latest national research protocols or treatment with the best standard of care. Our orthopedic surgeons and pediatric oncologists have in-depth experience in the care of osteosarcoma and other pediatric bone tumors.
|Dana-Farber's David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic helps survivors of childhood cancer address the long-term effects of their therapy.|