ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about how doctors describe a cancer’s growth or spread. This is called the stage. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.
Staging is a way of describing where the tumor is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body. Doctors use diagnostic tests to determine the tumor's stage, so staging may not be complete until all of the tests are finished. Knowing the stage helps the doctor to decide what kind of treatment is best and can help predict a patient's prognosis (chance of recovery). There are different stage descriptions for different tumors.
The terms doctors use to describe the stage of osteosarcoma and plan treatment include:
Localized: The tumor is only in the bone where it began and in the tissue around it. The tumor has not spread to other parts of the body.
Metastatic: The tumor has spread from the bone where it began to another part of the body, most often the lungs or other bones.
Recurrent: Recurrent osteosarcoma is a tumor that has come back either during or after treatment. It can come back in the same place where it started or in another part of the body. Osteosarcoma recurs most often in the lungs and other bones. If there is a recurrence, the cancer may need to be staged again (called re-staging) using the system above.
Source: National Cancer Institute.
Information about the tumor’s stage will help the doctor recommend a treatment plan for your child. Choose “Next” (below, right) to continue reading about treatment options for this type of cancer. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.