Osteosarcoma of the jaws: a twenty-three year retrospective review
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The term osteosarcoma refers to a heterogenous group of primary malignant neoplasms affecting boneforming or mesenchymal tissue that have histopathologic evidence of osteogenic differentiation. Several variants exist with the conventional or classical osteosarcoma being the most common and arising centrally within bones. This is further subdivided into either osteoblastic or chondroblastic variants depending on the predominant cell type. The classical osteosarcoma accounts for approximately 20% of primary bone tumours. It is most common in the long bones with a bimodal age distribution, with a major peak in the second decade and a somewhat smaller peak after the age of 50 years. Men tend to be more commonly affected than women. Pre-existing medical conditions such as Paget's disease of the bone or a history of radiotherapy has been implicated as a predisposing aetiologic factor. Jaw lesions are uncommon and compromise 6% of the total osteosarcomas. They characteristically affect patients considerably later than in the appendicular skeleton, with the first peak occurring somewhat later in the third decade.