Osteosarcoma is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone. It is the most frequent type of bone tumour and is most common between the ages of 10 to 25. In most cases it is found in the bones around the knee. It is usually located in the growing ends of the bone (metaphysis). It is sometimes also called "osteogenic sarcoma" which literally means a bone forming cancer.
The most common early signs of osteosarcoma are pain and swelling. Like other sarcomas, osteosarcoma can spread to other parts of the body. Even when the tumour is detected at a very small size, there may be microscopic spread. For this reason, osteosarcoma always requires treatment to the whole body. This treatment includes chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is intended to destroy the tumour cells which have spread to the rest of the body and to shrink the main mass of tumour cells. Successful treatment also requires another form of treatment to the main mass of tumour. This is usually surgery to remove the main tumour.
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