Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Osteosarcoma - Childhood

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 7/2013
Symptoms and Signs

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

The symptoms of osteosarcoma depend on the bone in which the tumor developed. Children and teens with osteosarcoma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with osteosarcoma do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor.

  • Pain in a bone or joint that gets worse over time
  • Painless swelling or a noticeable mass (lump) in an arm or leg
  • A broken bone with no injury to explain how it occurred
  • Stiffness or swelling of joints (not a common symptom)
  • Back pain or a loss of bowel or bladder control (if the tumor is in the pelvis or at the base of the spine; not a common early symptom)

Your child’s doctor will ask questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long your child has been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your child’s health care team about symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.

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