Bone Cancer Health Center

The American Cancer Society estimates that each year in the United States, there are about 2800 new cases of cancer of the bones and joints, and 1500 deaths. Most cancers that appear in the bones however, are a result of metastasis from cancers of the breast, prostate, lungs, and thyroid.

Different forms of bone cancer affect different patient populations, but usually occur either in adults over age 50 and growing children in adolescence. Frequently there is no known cause, but radiation and genetics may play a role.

Osteosarcoma is the most common form of primary bone cancer comprising one out of every five diagnoses. It affects 400 children under age fifteen, and 500 adults every year. It usually appears in the long bones (femur, humerus) and treatment is often amputation. Ewing's sarcoma is another form of bone cancer that affects the same patient population, primarily males between the ages of ten and twenty. It is the result of a genetic mutation between chromosomes 11 and 22. Chondrosarcoma arises from the cartilage producing cells in bones, and frequently occurs in the pelvis, shoulders, and base of the skull.

Review Date: 
March 22, 2012
Last Updated:
June 30, 2013