Pediatric osteosarcoma expert Srikanth Ambati

Pediatric oncologist Srikanth Ambati is part of the multidisciplinary team caring for young sarcoma patients.

What is Osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer that mostly affects children, adolescents, and young adults. While any of the body’s 206 bones can be affected, 50 percent of young patients have tumors near the knee. Patients usually have pain and swelling in the affected area. It’s common for active children and teenagers to experience limb pain as they grow, but a doctor should check out any pain that does not go away within a few weeks.

In general, sarcomas are cancers in bones, muscles, and connective tissue throughout the body. They can affect children, adolescents, and young adults. There are several types of pediatric sarcomas, including osteosarcoma. Memorial Sloan Kettering has the largest sarcoma program in the world for the care of children, teens, and young adults.

Risk Factors for Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma usually develops in patients after age ten and before age 30. It most commonly develops during the growth spurt of the teen years.

This information is about osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that mostly affects children.

Read more about primary bone cancer in adults.

Some inherited bone conditions can raise the risk of a child developing osteosarcoma. Children treated with radiation for another cancer also have a higher risk of developing osteosarcoma, especially very young children. The disease is more common in boys than girls, and slightly more common in African-American children than white children.

Around 400 children, adolescents, and young adults in the United States are diagnosed with osteosarcoma each year. Orthopedic surgeons, oncologists, nurses, and other experts at MSK routinely treat young patients with types of sarcomas that many other healthcare professionals rarely see.