Risk factors
There are some factors that can increase the chance of being diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Different than in adults, conditions usually have risk factors that are beyond one's control, such as age, height or gender. While risk factors like smoking or healthy body weight can be worked on and prevented, there isn’t much that children can do about their genes and current state.

A young or very old age is a known risk factor for osteosarcoma. Children between 10 and 20 and elderly people after 60 are at a higher risk, simply due to their age and what the body goes through during this stage in life.

Patients who are diagnosed with osteosarcoma are usually taller than they should be for the age they´re in, due to the rapid growth and its connection to the condition. It is also known that males get the condition more often than females. Studies have also shown that people of African/American and Hispanic/Latino heritage are at a higher risk of developing osteosarcoma.

Some diseases increase the possibility of causing osteosarcoma, such as Paget disease; a condition affecting bone tissue leading to weaker bones and an increased possibility of bones breaking. Some cancers that start elsewhere in the body may lead to bone cancer. Especially the treatment of the prior cancer is what does the damage. The radiation that comes from X-Rays and CT-scans can cause the number of cells to rapidly increase. This is one of the main reasons why the doctor´s attempt to avoid these types of tests and try to use them only in most necessary cases.

Can osteosarcoma be prevented?
It is until now impossible to prevent osteosarcoma. The only risk factor one can try to avoid is radiation, however even this is sometimes impossible, especially if these types of test are necessary when treating cancer elsewhere in the body.

How is osteosarcoma diagnosed?
The first exam done is the physical exam, which in some cases can immediately lead to a diagnosis, for example, if a mass or lump can be felt. Also, based on the symptoms and medical history, doctors can suspect osteosarcoma and take further tests to confirm.

Usually, a bone X-Ray, CT, Bone Scan or MRI is done to analyze the bone structure and look for any abnormalities. If the imaging tests confirm the suspicion, a biopsy is a next step towards confirming cancer. The only biopsy makes it possible to identify the exact type of bone cancer. There are times when osteosarcoma in the knees can be mistakenly taken for an injury and a knee injuries treatment plan be recommended.

How is osteosarcoma treated?
There are some treatments to consider, depending on the individual and their current stage of osteosarcoma. Surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be required. Chemotherapy is usually a treatment and after treatment, as it´s done even after no more signs of cancer being present. It is also often combined with surgery, as it usually helps to remove cancer in a less extensive way.

As the treatment of osteosarcoma is very invasive and comes with its side-effects, it is important to take your time and understand everything before making a decision. It is important to discuss your worried with your team of physicians. Having to decide as a parent, on a treatment plan for your child can be more than difficult. It is important to surround yourself with a team of health professionals and address all your concerns to them while finding the best solution for your child.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.

Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.