Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)

Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone cancer (cancer that starts in the bone). This disease more commonly affects children and teens, but can be seen in the elderly population. At the Orthopaedic Oncology Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, our doctors treat a large number of patients with osteosarcoma compared to other centers in South Jersey.

While the diagnosis of osteosarcoma can be scary, you can feel confident our team of orthopaedic surgeons and other skilled professionals has the expertise to guide you — or your child — through a personalized treatment plan, with the supportive resources to help you navigate cancer treatment.

Why Choose MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper for Orthopaedic Oncology Care?

When you choose MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper for osteosarcoma care, you benefit from our partnership with one of the nation’s top hospitals for cancer care, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our program offers you:

  • Expertise: Our specialists are respected both regionally and nationally for our excellence in cancer care and orthopaedic surgery. You can trust we offer the very best in bone cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Experience: Because bone tumors are so rare, you’ll want a medical team that has seen many patients with similar conditions. Our specialists perform more than 600 surgeries every year, so you can be sure we’ll find the most effective treatment for your specific circumstances.
  • Personalized care: Our specialists are passionate about the work they do, and we treat every patient like family. We always have an attending surgeon on call and ready to help you, should an emergency or concern come up when our office is closed.
  • Team approach to treatment: We provide individualized care, tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Our specialists, including orthopaedic oncologists, musculoskeletal radiologists, nurses, and other professionals, work cohesively to come up with individualized treatment plans. This unique approach ensures a treatment plan personalized to you.
  • Access to clinical trials: With the backing of MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s pioneers in medical oncology research and development, our doctors are active in a wide variety of clinical trials. All patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper are candidates for promising, cutting-edge treatment options that may not be available anywhere else in the region.
  • Full range of support services: Bone cancer can take a heavy toll on your life. To help you manage any challenges you experience during treatment, we offer a full range of support services, such as counseling services and physical therapy. Read about our extensive cancer care support services.

Symptoms of Osteosarcoma (Bone-Forming Cancer)

Commonly described symptoms of osteosarcomas are:

  • Pain or soreness: This is the most common symptom of osteosarcoma. The pain will come from the affected area (often around the knee or arm) and may get worse over time or at night. The pain is not relieved with rest or anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Swelling: This can also occur at or close to where the tumor is located.

It’s normal for active children and teens to experience arm or leg pain as well as swelling from time to time. Symptoms that don’t go away (or get worse) over a period of weeks should be evaluated by your doctor.

Evaluation and Treatment for Osteosarcoma (Bone-Forming Cancer)

Evaluation of osteosarcoma begins with a comprehensive history and physical examination. This is then followed by lab work and imaging studies. Ultimately, a biopsy to obtain tissue is required, and this will be arranged right away.

Imaging may include:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Bone scan

Your doctor may recommend one or multiple treatments based on the specifics of your condition. Your treatment plan will take into account multiple factors, including age, stage of the disease, and your preferences and goals. Treatment for osteosarcoma includes:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Limb-sparing surgery, if at all possible
  • Rehabilitation, including physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Close monitoring and follow-up care to manage your treatment response and ongoing care needs

Contact Us

To learn more about the osteosarcoma services available at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper or to schedule an appointment, please call 856.361.1754.

Refer a Patient

If you are a doctor who wants to refer a patient to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper for osteosarcoma treatment, please call 856.361.1754.