The focus of Brittany’s STEAM project was the development of osteosarcoma and how developing bones are more susceptible to the development of this type of tumor. Because of this, osteosarcomas are most commonly found in pubescent children. This form of cancer can be aggressive and spread from the infected bone to other parts of the body; however, if it is caught early, osteosarcomas can be effectively treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or amputation. This type of tumor forms when osteoblasts undergo a random mutation which cause the cells to become cancerous and create more cancerous bone tissue. Children are the most susceptible to osteosarcoma due to the rapid development of their bones from birth until full bone density is achieved between the ages of 25 and 30. During adolescence, osteoblasts are rapidly producing new bone tissue and so a cancerous mutation can become cancerous and spread quicker than in an adult. Brittany’s art project reflected the difference between a child’s skeleton and one of an adult using the hand as the focus. The flowers surrounding the bones of the hands are symbols for growth stages as the fully bloomed flowers next to the adult hard would represent full development. At this stage, a person would be less likely to develop osteosarcomas because osteoblasts are not creating bone at as quick of a pace as in adolescence.
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