Can Osteosarcoma Be Found Early?

At this time, there are no widely recommended screening tests for osteosarcoma in people who aren't known to be at increased risk. (Screening is testing for cancer in people without any symptoms.)

Still, most osteosarcomas are found at an early stage, before they have clearly spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms such as bone pain or swelling often prompt a visit to a doctor. (For more on this, see Signs and Symptoms of Osteosarcoma.)

For people at increased risk of osteosarcoma

For some people who are at increased risk for osteosarcoma because they have certain bone diseases or inherited conditions (listed in Osteosarcoma Risk Factors), doctors might recommendincreased monitoring for this disease. This type of cancer usually does not run in families, but watching for early signs and symptoms is important if it is to be treated successfully.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Anderson ME, Dubois SG, Gebhart MC. Chapter 89: Sarcomas of bone. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2020.

Gorlick R, Janeway K, Marina N. Chapter 34: Osteosarcoma. In: Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016.

National Cancer Institute. Osteosarcoma and Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone Treatment (PDQ). 2020. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/bone/hp/osteosarcoma-treatment-pdq on July 27, 2020.

References

Anderson ME, Dubois SG, Gebhart MC. Chapter 89: Sarcomas of bone. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2020.

Gorlick R, Janeway K, Marina N. Chapter 34: Osteosarcoma. In: Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016.

National Cancer Institute. Osteosarcoma and Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone Treatment (PDQ). 2020. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/bone/hp/osteosarcoma-treatment-pdq on July 27, 2020.

Last Revised: October 8, 2020

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