Children with Cancer is a UK charity which aims to fight the UK’s biggest child killer: cancer. Statistically, every day at least 10 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer.
Each September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month highlights the impact of cancer on young people and their family. Awareness is key to improving the lives of these children, raising money for vital research into this tragic condition. Thanks to the efforts of charities like Children with Cancer, better drugs and treatments are developed and more children than ever are surviving childhood cancer.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer. About 30 children in the UK develop osteosarcomas each year. These tumours occur more commonly in older children and teenagers. They are very rarely seen in children under five. Osteosarcoma often starts at the ends of the long bones, where new bone tissue forms as a young person grows. Any bone in the body can be affected but the most common sites are in the arms and legs, particularly around the knee and shoulder joints.
Pain in the affected bone is the most common symptom and may initially come and go before gradually becoming more severe and constant, especially at night. There may also be swelling around the affected bone.
If parents are concerned about their child’s symptoms they should make an appointment with their GP, who will examine the child and may arrange tests or x-rays. If a bone tumour is suspected, it is likely that the GP will refer the child to a specialist hospital or bone tumour centre for further tests.
Different tests and investigations may be needed to diagnose an osteosarcoma. An x-ray of the painful part of the bone will usually identify a tumour, although sometimes they can be difficult to see. A small operation called a biopsy may be carried out, which is performed under a general anaesthetic. During this procedure, a small piece of the tumour will be removed and looked at under a microscope. Other tests include chest x-ray, blood tests, a bone scan and an MRI or CT scan. All of these can help determine if the cancer has spread.
A cancer’s ‘stage’ describes its size and whether it has spread. Knowing the particular type and stage of the cancer helps the doctors to decide on the most appropriate treatment, which will vary depending on whether the cancer is found in one part of the body or whether it has spread. Prompt diagnosis before the cancer has spread is key.
A staging system commonly used for osteosarcomas is described below:
Once a diagnosis has been made and the staging of the cancer has been given, the doctors will consider what treatment can be given. This will depend on a number of factors including the timing of the diagnosis, the size, position and stage of the tumour.
Our specialist clinical negligence team are committed to supporting individuals and their families who have been affected by negligent medical treatment for bone cancer and/or an amputation. We are experts in helping people who have suffered severe disability claim compensation, helping them secure high standard rehabilitation and prosthetic care, restore mobility and facilitate independence, which improves their quality of their life and that of those around them.
To find out if you are entitled to make an amputation compensation claim as a result of medical negligence, talk to us confidentially and without any commitment or cost – call us on our free phone number 0800 029 4799 or email us at [email protected]. Watch a video about how we have helped one of our previous clients here.