Osteosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the bone. Osteosarcoma usually starts in the osteoblasts (bone cells). It frequently starts in the end of the long bones of the body, such as the arms and legs, but can also occur in other bones. Most common sites are the distal femur (thigh bone above the knee), proximal tibia (shin bone below knee) and the proximal humerus (arm just below shoulder).
Tests to help diagnose Osteosarcoma
Physical exam and history: The health care provider will check general signs of health, assess for any lumps or anything else that seems unusual. They will also get history of past illnesses, health habits and
any family history of illness or cancer.
CT scan: A computer assisted X-ray that shows detailed pictures inside the body, such as neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organ and tissues show up more clearly.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Is a test that uses magnet, radio waves and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
X-rays: Plain film X-ray of the affected area and any other area of concern.
CBC (complete blood count) checks the number of red blood cells (oxygen carriers), platelets (cells that help the blood clot properly) and white blood cells (infection fighters)
Blood chemistry studies to check kidney and liver function.
All these tests are usually done at time of diagnosis to rule out other diseases and are also done throughout treatment to monitor response and to monitor for possible side effects of treatment.