the orthopaedic oncology group provides medical and psychosocial care to patients, both in hospital and outpatient facilities, with musculoskeletal tumors. with this research we aimed to know the socioeconomical profile of the patients/ families, as well as the changes occurred after such diagnosis is received. the sample was constituted of 25 families of patients with osteosarcoma on lower limbs. the study was conducted between september and october 2005 by means of forms containing open and closed questions, using the collective subject speech for qualitative analysis. the study had a prospective, descriptive design with quanti-qualitative approach. among the respondents, 68% were females including 44% of mothers; 76% worked, and 28% of these had formal jobs. 60% had a family income amounting 2-5 minimum wages. after diagnosis, 92% faced increased expenses; 80% reported challenges with the chemotherapy; 56% mention transportation as the major factor affecting compliance to treatment. 100% feel desperate when they first know they have cancer. cancer causes changes in family members' roles. there is always the fear of recurrence, which ultimately lead the family to fear death, thus requiring a joint effort with a multidisciplinary team.