Why choose us for osteosarcoma care?
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone tumor to affect adolescents and young adults. At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, our pediatric and oncology (cancer) doctors collaborate to provide research-backed osteosarcoma care with a focus on the unique needs of young patients.
Our experts understand the fine details of many rare sarcomas. We treat all bone cancers using proven protocols and precise surgical techniques. Extensive family resources support you and your loved ones throughout your child’s care.
Find out more about our sarcoma cancer program and pediatric sarcoma program.
What you need to know about osteosarcoma
- Osteosarcoma is cancer that grows out of bone tissue. It usually affects long bones in the arms or legs. Osteosarcoma sometimes spreads to other areas of the body, such as the lungs. Because our doctors see a high volume of pediatric osteosarcoma patients, they have a deep expertise in treating rare and complex bone tumors.
- We use specialized molecular and genomic tests to learn more about cancer cells during osteosarcoma diagnosis. A team of doctors from different specialties (tumor board) uses these details to decide together on the right treatments for you.
- Osteosarcoma usually develops in adolescence or young adulthood. Social workers and clinical psychologists are key members of our care team. We work with the patient, school and family members to provide multiple layers of support during a stressful time.
- Our collaborative approach provides leading care while also making it easier for more families to access our team’s expertise. We may be able to coordinate services so patients who live outside the San Antonio area can undergo certain tests close to home.
How to talk to your doctor about osteosarcoma
We understand the difficulties that an osteosarcoma diagnosis can present for patients and families. Our team is here to support you.
Our center has extensive resources available, including individual and family counseling to help you cope in a way that feels right for your family.
We sit down with you to discuss your treatment options and how they may affect your life or long-term health. We encourage you to reach out to your care team whenever you have questions or need guidance.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, that may be needed to inform a diagnosis or treatment plan
- Cancer details, including the type of osteosarcoma, whether it has spread and how it may affect your overall health
- Treatment options, including any clinical trials for which you may be eligible
- Potential treatment side effects and how the highly trained nurses at our dedicated inpatient chemotherapy unit help ease discomfort
- Support services, including coordination with schools to balance a child’s workload during treatment and services like fertility preservation options focused on supporting adolescent and young adult cancer patients
Doctors classify osteosarcoma as primary (cancer started in bone tissue) or secondary (cancer developed in another area of the body and spread to the bone). Most pediatric cases of osteosarcoma are primary bone cancer.
Osteosarcoma can also be grouped according to where a tumor develops or how cancer cells act. For example, intramedullary osteosarcoma makes up most cases of osteosarcoma. These osteosarcomas develop deep inside long bones like the thighbone (femur).
Learn about the many other bone cancers we treat, including Ewing sarcoma.