Osteosarcoma 10-Year Survival Rate
Osteosarcoma survival rates vary based on the type and stage of the cancer, how well doctors treat it, and other factors. One of the most important factors is how quickly the cancer spreads.
Treatment for osteosarcoma often includes surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells. The type of surgery depends on where the tumor is located.
If you have osteosarcoma in a bone, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. You may also want to consider taking part in a clinical trial of newer treatments.
The first step is a biopsy to find out whether or not your tumor is cancerous. A surgeon removes a small piece of the lump for a biopsy, but the procedure can be difficult. Doctors have to be careful not to damage the bones and other tissues around the tumour.
Most cases of osteosarcoma are treated with chemotherapy. These strong medicines kill cancer cells and help the tumour shrink, which can make surgery easier. Chemotherapy is usually given before surgery, but it may continue afterward to catch any stray cancer cells that might have escaped.
In some cases, doctors need to amputate the arm or leg where the osteosarcoma is located. This is done if the tumour is growing into nerves or blood vessels, or if it’s very big. After an amputation, most people learn to use a prosthetic limb.
Almost 4 out of 5 people with osteosarcoma who have their cancer completely resected are alive five years later. Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is much harder to treat.
Most people with osteosarcoma are children and teens. It is more common in boys than girls and in teens between the ages of 10 and 19. People with tumors that are found in the bones of the pelvis or chest and skull have a higher chance of having metastases (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) than those with osteosarcomas in other locations.
The European and American Osteosarcoma Study-1 (EURAMOS-1) is a collaboration of four international study groups that aims to improve outcomes in this rare primary malignant bone tumour by facilitating randomised controlled trials. The results of this large international cohort study reinforce known prognostic factors and add new information only achievable from such a large study.
The health care team will ask about your child’s medical history and do a physical exam. They will check for lumps or swelling around the bones. They will also do imaging tests. These may include X-rays, CT scans, MRI and bone scans. These tests show changes in the bones and can tell if cancer has spread to other bones.
A biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis. The surgeon doing the biopsy should be the same one who will do the eventual tumor resection to avoid contamination of the biopsy tract with cancer cells. 
Doctors use the results of the biopsy to determine the grade of the tumor and how serious it is. They will also use the information about the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of the body to decide what treatment is best. This process is called staging. If the cancer has spread, doctors give chemotherapy to kill any more cancer cells.
Although it’s rare, bone cancers can recur or spread (metastasize) after treatment. That’s why it’s important to get regular follow-up exams. Your healthcare provider can take a sample of a lump or mass and test it for cancer cells.
Osteosarcoma occurs most often in the long bones of the legs, such as the femur and tibia. This is because the bones grow most quickly in these areas during childhood and adolescence. The risk of osteosarcoma increases with age. It’s most common in people 10-19 years old, and it tends to affect boys more than girls.
Treatment innovations have improved the outlook for this disease over the years. However, the intense treatment can have serious side effects that may last for a long time after therapy. Your doctor can help you manage these side effects. He or she can also recommend resources to support you during and after treatment.