Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) – Miguel’s Story – Valley Children’s

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. The average age at diagnosis is 15. Boys and girls have a similar incidence of this tumor until late adolescence, at which time boys are more commonly affected. In rare cases, osteosarcoma occurs in adults. Although osteosarcoma tends to occur in the larger bones, such as the shin (near the knee), thigh (near the knee) and upper arm (near the shoulder), it can occur in any bone. A number of variants of osteosarcoma exist, including conventional types (osteoblastic, chondroblastic, and fibroblastic), telangiectatic, multifocal, parosteal, and periosteal.  The cause of osteosarcoma is not known. In some cases, it runs in families, and at least one gene has been linked to increased risk. Treatment varies from person to person and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and samarium.

Meet Miguel Contreras of Visalia, California. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. The cancer led to amputation below his right knee and he underwent treatment at Valley Children’s Hospital. See how our doctors, nurses and staff got Miguel get back on his feet – and helped him fulfill a dream of his to hike Yosemite National Park.

As one of the leading pediatric cancer and blood disorders centers on the West Coast, Valley Children’s serves more than 500 families, sees more than 120 new children diagnosed with cancer every year and offers comprehensive hematology services for all types of blood diseases. Valley Children’s is the only provider of in-depth, inpatient and outpatient pediatric cancer and blood diseases services in the entire Central California region.

Valley Children’s ranks in the top 4% of institutions nationwide for enrolling patients in therapeutic studies for Children’s Oncology Group – the world’s largest organization devoted to childhood cancer research – ensuring a child’s timely access to the most advanced therapies and supportive care. We also have the region’s only Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, which helps prepare survivors for adulthood and maintain excellent health for years to come.

To learn more about Valley Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Center, please visit http://valleychildrens.org/cancer.

Valley Children’s. Futures worth fighting for.