Can Osteosarcoma Be Found Early?

At this time, there are no widely recommended screening tests for this cancer. (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.)

Some people who are at increased risk for osteosarcoma because of certain bone diseases or inherited conditions (listed in Osteosarcoma Risk Factors) might need increased monitoring for this disease. This type of cancer usually does not run in families, but looking out for the early signs is important if it is to be treated successfully.

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Anderson ME, Randall RL, Springfield DS, Gebhart MC. Chapter 92: Sarcomas of bone. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2014.

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.

O’Donnell RJ, DuBois SG, Haas-Kogan DA. Chapter 91: Sarcomas of bone. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014.

Last Medical Review: December 15, 2017 Last Revised: January 30, 2018

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