On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.
Osteosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) bone tumor that usually develops during the period of rapid growth that occurs in adolescence, as a teenager matures into an adult.
Osteosarcoma is the most common cancerous (malignant) bone tumor in youth. 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.
The cause is not known. In some cases, osteosarcoma runs in families, and at least one gene has been linked to increased risk. This gene is also associated with familial retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye that occurs in children.
Osteosarcoma tends to occur in the bones of the:
Shin (near the knee)
Thigh (near the knee)
Upper arm (near the shoulder)
This cancer occurs most commonly in larger bones and in the area of bone with the fastest growth rate. Osteosarcoma can occur in any bone, however.