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Childhood Osteosarcoma Prevention and Screening

Osteosarcoma Screening

Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are highest. There are no screening tests for pediatric osteosarcoma.

If certain genetic conditions run in your family that put your child at higher risk of developing pediatric osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, ask the doctor if your child should be followed closely.

Osteosarcoma Risk Factors

The cause of osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, is unknown, and it usually does not run in families. However, certain things seem to put children at a higher risk of developing osteosarcoma:

  • Age: Osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, is most common in people between 10 and 30 years old, particularly teenagers in rapid growth cycles or “growth spurts”
  • Height: Most children with osteosarcoma are tall for their ages
  • Gender: More males than females develop the disease
  • Race: African Americans have a slightly higher risk of osteosarcoma
  • Previous radiation therapy
  • Non-cancer bone diseases including Paget's disease and osteochondromas
  • Rare inherited cancer syndromes, including:
    • Li-Fraumeni
    • Rothmund-Thompson
    • RB1 gene mutation, which causes retinoblastoma
  • Other rare genetic conditions, including Bloom syndrome and Werner syndrome

Osteosarcoma is rare, and not everyone with risk factors gets the disease. However, if you are concerned about your child’s risk for bone cancer, you should talk to his or her doctor.

If you are concerned about inherited family syndromes that raise the risk for osteosarcoma, MD Anderson offers advanced genetic testing to let you know your child’s risk.

If your child has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • One of few pediatric osteosarcoma teams in the U.S.
  • Advanced surgical procedures, including limb-sparing surgery
  • A range of clinical trials of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) therapies
  • Latest diagnostic tools; specialized pathologists
  • Most-advanced chemotherapy agents and delivery methods to treat osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
  • Family-centered care and extensive support services

Childhood Osteosarcoma Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

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