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A sarcoma is a cancerous tumor that appears in the connective tissues within the body, this includes the bones, muscles, cartilage, fats, nerves, blood vessels and skin tissue. There are many different types of sarcomas, but they are typically classified as either a bone sarcoma or a soft tissue sarcoma.

Pediatric osteosarcoma care in Denver

Our pediatric oncology team will care for your child the way you do: with dedication and kindness.

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children's pediatric bone cancer clinic offers a warm, home-like environment where your child can undergo treatments. We are a leader in treating and providing high-quality, specialized sarcoma care for children and teenagers.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Signs and symptoms of pediatric osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcomas

Symptoms of osteosarcoma can appear weeks or even months before a diagnosis is made. Ewing sarcomas have additional symptoms and are typically found due to pain in the area of the body where the tumor is. Symptoms of sarcomas include:

  • Bone fractures (uncommon)
  • Decreased motion in the joints
  • Feeling tired or fatigued
  • Fever
  • Lumps or swelling in arms or legs
  • Pain and swelling in the affected bone
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak, numb or immobile arms or legs
  • Weight loss

Our pediatric bone cancer program

Correct diagnosis and targeted, personalized treatments are key to achieving the best possible outcomes for your child. Our skilled oncologists, nurses and support staff collaborate to offer your child high-quality care while supporting your entire family.

Treatments for pediatric bone cancer

Treatment for osteosarcoma involves surgery and chemotherapy. After the cancerous tumor is completely removed, a patient undergoes chemotherapy in order to kill any cancer cells that could develop, grow or spread.

For Ewing sarcomas, the first form of treatment that most patients undergo is chemotherapy. Surgery to remove the tumor is typically the next stage of treatment. For pediatric bone tumors, like Ewing sarcomas, radiation may be used in conjunction with surgery, or instead of surgery if it would be difficult to remove the entire tumor. Another round of chemotherapy typically follows surgery or radiation.

Multidisciplinary team of sarcoma experts

For children with bone cancer or a bone tumor, most are treated at a pediatric cancer clinic. Our pediatric cancer clinic focused solely on treating children and adolescents, as childhood cancers are different than cancers that develop in adults. Your child's treatment requires specialized training, plus the care and attention of our large team that includes pediatric oncologists, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants and support staff. Child life specialists are on hand to assist patients and their families during each stage of the treatment process, which can be difficult at times.

To learn more about pediatric bone cancers and other types of cancers that can develop in children, talk to your child's doctor or pediatrician.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about pediatric osteosarcoma

We know that you likely have many questions, and we offer this FAQ as a starting place to get some answers now. Our oncologists and support staff are dedicated to listening and responding to your concerns with compassion and sensitivity.

What are pediatric bone tumors?

Pediatric bone tumors are abnormal growths of tissue in the body, which form when abnormal cells multiply and grow. Bone tumors are abnormal tissue growths that start in the leg, ribs or arm bones. Tumors that start in the leg muscles, tendons, fat or blood vessels are referred to as soft tissue tumors. Malignant bone and soft tissue tumors are called sarcomas.

Types of pediatric bone cancers

The two main types of bone cancers that develop in children are osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. Primary bone cancer is cancer that starts in the bone tissue. Secondary, or metastatic bone cancer, is when cancer spreads to the bone from another site in the body.

Other types of bone cancer include:

  • Chondrosarcoma — cancer of the cartilage
  • Chordoma — a primary bone tumor that usually occurs in the skull or the spine
  • Ewing sarcoma — tumors that typically develop in the cavity of the leg and arm bones
  • Fibrosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma — cancers that develop in soft tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, fat and muscle, and then move to the leg, arm or jaw bones
  • Giant cell tumor — a malignant primary bone tumor. Giant cell tumors are most commonly found in the arm or leg bones

What causes pediatric bone cancer?

While some adult cancers are linked to environmental or lifestyle factors, childhood cancers can develop due to DNA changes in cells early in a child's life, or even before birth. The development of Ewing sarcoma is most often the result of a chromosome rearrangement between chromosomes 11 and 22. Some physicians classify Ewing sarcoma as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET), which means that the tumor may have started in fetal or embryonic tissue and developed into nerve tissue.

Osteosarcoma (or osteogenic sarcoma) typically occurs in long bones, such as the humerus arm bone, the femur and tibia in the legs or the pelvis. Osteosarcoma is most commonly found in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 25. Osteosarcoma is also more common in boys than in girls and can spread to other areas of the body, such as the lungs.

The direct cause of Osteosarcoma is unclear. Doctors and scientists have determined that osteosarcoma is linked to other medical conditions. Inherited DNA mutations may also be a factor.

How common is pediatric osteosarcoma?

According to the American Cancer Society, bone cancers account for about 3 percent of childhood cancers. It's important to know that all cancers in children are considered rare, so the chances of developing bone cancer in childhood are also rare.

Bone cancers are more commonly found in older children and teenagers. Ewing sarcoma typically develops in children and young adults ages five to 20 years old. Ewing sarcoma is most often found in young teens and tends to start in the pelvic or hip bones, the ribs or shoulder blades or the longer leg bones. Osteosarcoma tends to develop in areas where the bone is growing quickly, such as the leg or arm bones.

How is pediatric osteosarcoma diagnosed?

Most osteosarcomas are found at an early stage before cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It's not uncommon for bone cancers in children to be first diagnosed as something else. An active child who plays a lot of sports may have bumps or bruises on their legs or arms, but a doctor won't know that there's a potential tumor in the bone until symptoms get worse, or the bone tumor appears in an X-ray.

Our Sarcoma Locations

Currently Viewing:

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
2001 N. High St
Denver, CO 80205
 (720) 754 - 1000

Currently Viewing:

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
2001 N. High St
Denver, CO 80205
 (720) 754 - 1000
Swedish Medical Center
501 E Hampden Ave
Englewood, CO 80113
 (303) 788 - 5000

6.5 miles