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How Is It Diagnosed?

If a person has possible osteosarcoma symptoms, the doctor will typically perform a physical exam and ask about the person's personal and family medical history. The doctor will also usually recommend additional tests and procedures that examine the bone. Exams and tests that are used to make an osteosarcoma diagnosis may include:
  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Bone scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Angiogram
  • Biopsy.
(Click Bone Cancer Diagnosis for more information.)

Osteosarcoma Staging

Once the doctor has diagnosed osteosarcoma, he or she will likely order more tests to determine if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. This is normally called staging. Currently, there is no staging system for the different types of osteosarcoma. Most people are grouped depending on whether the cancer:
  • Is found in only one part of the body (localized osteosarcoma )
  • Has spread from one part of the body to another (metastatic osteosarcoma )
  • Has returned (recurrent osteosarcoma).
The doctor will need to determine where the cancer is located and how far the disease has spread in order to plan the best treatment.
(Click Osteosarcoma Stages for more information.)
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