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Osteosarcoma is cancer that starts in a bone. Osteosarcoma is commonly found inside the long bones of your body, such as your arm or leg bones. It may also grow on the surface of your bones or in soft tissue, such as muscles.


Seek care immediately if:

  • You see blood in your urine.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You have no feeling in or near the area of your osteosarcoma.
  • You are not able to move the limb that has the tumor.
  • You have severe pain.
  • Your bone breaks.

Contact your healthcare provider or oncologist if:

  • Your pain and swelling get worse.
  • You are vomiting and cannot keep food or liquids down.
  • You see or feel new lumps under your skin.
  • You have a lump that is getting bigger.
  • You are weak or confused.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.
  • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and control vomiting.
  • Chemotherapy (chemo) is medicine used to treat cancer. Chemo works by killing cancer cells. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about chemo.
  • Radiation is a treatment that uses x-rays or gamma rays to kill cancer cells. You may need this treatment if your tumor cannot be removed through surgery. You may also need radiation along with chemo or surgery to treat your cancer.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or oncologist as directed:

You may need to return for regular visits to monitor your cancer. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do not smoke:

Smoking increases your risk for new or returning cancer. Smoking can also delay healing after treatment. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.

Limit or do not drink alcohol as directed:

Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day if you are a man. Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Go to physical or occupational therapy as directed:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities.

Eat a variety of healthy foods:

Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.

Drink liquids as directed:

You may need to drink more liquid during cancer treatment. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Osteosarcoma (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.