Osteosarcoma Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for osteosarcoma

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of talking about the prognosis (outlook) of a person with a certain type and stage of cancer. Some patients (or parents of children) with cancer may want to know the survival rates, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you do not want to read about the survival statistics for osteosarcoma given in the next few paragraphs, skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is found. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years – and many are cured. To get 5-year survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Advances in treatment since then may mean a better outlook for people now being treated for osteosarcoma.

With modern treatment, the 5-year survival rate for patients with localized osteosarcoma is in the range of 60% to 80%.

The 5-year survival rate for patients whose cancer has already spread (metastasized) at the time it is found is about 15% to 30%. The survival rate is closer to 40% if the cancer has spread only to the lungs or if all of the tumors can be removed with surgery.

Other things that may affect survival

Factors other than the stage of the cancer can also affect survival rates. For instance, these factors have been linked with a better outlook:

  • Being younger (child or young adult, as opposed to older adult)
  • Being female
  • The tumor being found in an arm or leg bone (as opposed to the hip bones)
  • The tumor(s) being completely removed
  • Normal results on certain blood tests
  • The tumor having a good response to chemotherapy

Last Medical Review: 01/24/2013
Last Revised: 01/24/2013