Diagnosing osteosarcoma usually starts with a medical history review and exam by your doctor. Next, your doctor may request imaging tests. At Mayo Clinic, all of your diagnostic testing can be completed in a few days rather than in several weeks.
Mayo Clinic has an international reputation for top-quality imaging and rapid test results. In tests that involve radiation, specialists carefully monitor doses to avoid the risk of radiation overexposure. To plan your treatment for osteosarcoma, your doctor may recommend X-rays or one or more of these scans:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of bones and the tissues around them.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses a sophisticated X-ray machine linked to a computer to produce detailed, two-dimensional images of the chest and lungs. It can help identify certain types of tumors, especially those close to or involving bone.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. PET scans can help reveal the location of tumor cells in your body using a low dose of radioactive sugar (glucose) that is injected into a vein.
- Bone scan. This scan can detect cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bone.
- Blood tests. Blood tests are useful in identifying how well you might be able to tolerate treatments.
- Biopsy. To diagnose osteosarcoma, your doctor must remove a small sample of the suspected tumor (biopsy) for examination by a pathologist. Mayo Clinic's pathologists are internationally known for their expertise.