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Osteosarcoma and Bone Fibrous Histiocytoma Treatment

General Information About Osteosarcoma and Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone

Osteosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of the bone are diseases in which malignant (cancer) cells form in bone.

Osteosarcoma usually starts in osteoblasts, which are a type of bone cell that becomes new bone tissue. Osteosarcoma is most common in teenagers. It commonly forms in the ends of the long bones of the body, which include bones of the arms and legs. In children and teenagers, it often forms in the bones near the knee. Rarely, osteosarcoma may be found in soft tissue or organs in the chest or abdomen.

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of bone is a rare tumor of the bone. It is treated like osteosarcoma.

Ewing sarcoma is another kind of bone cancer, but it is not covered in this summary. See the PDQ summary on Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors for more information.

Having past treatment with radiation can increase the risk of osteosarcoma.

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this with their doctor. Risk factors for osteosarcoma include the following:

Possible signs of osteosarcoma and MFH include pain and swelling over a bone or a bony part of the body.

These and other symptoms may be caused by osteosarcoma or MFH. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

Imaging tests are used to detect (find) osteosarcoma and MFH.

Imaging tests are done before the biopsy. The following tests and procedures may be used:

A biopsy is done to diagnose osteosarcoma.

Cells and tissues are removed during a biopsy so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. It is important that the biopsy be done by a surgeon who is an expert in treating cancer of the bone. It is best if that surgeon is also the one who removes the tumor. The biopsy and the surgery to remove the tumor are planned together. The way the biopsy is done affects which type of surgery can be done later.

The type of biopsy that is done will be based on the size of the tumor and where it is in the body. There are three types of biopsy that may be used:

The following tests may be done on the tissue that is removed:

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) is affected by certain factors before and after treatment.

The prognosis of untreated osteosarcoma and MFH depends on the following:

After osteosarcoma or MFH is treated, prognosis also depends on the following:

Treatment options for osteosarcoma and MFH depend on the following: