How many Types of Bone Cancer are there? | Four most common Bone Cancer.


Bone cancer can start in any bone in the body, but the pelvis and long bones in the arms and legs are the most often affected. Bone cancer is extremely uncommon, accounting for less than 1% of all malignancies. Bone tumours that aren’t malignant are far more prevalent than cancerous ones.

Cancers that start elsewhere in the body and spread (metastasize) to the bone are not considered “bone cancer.” Instead, those tumours are called by the location where they first appeared, such as breast cancer that has spread to the bone.

Bone cancer can be the source of a variety of diseases. Osteosarcoma and Ewing tumours are the most frequent forms and are discussed elsewhere. Chondrosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma, giant cell tumour, and chordoma are the different forms of bone tumours that will be discussed here.

What is Bone Cancer?

Bone and cartilage cancers begin in the cells of the bone or cartilage. It’s also referred to as primary bone cancer. A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a collection of cancer cells that can invade and destroy surrounding tissue. It’s also possible for it to spread (metastasize) to other regions of the body. Adults beyond the age of 40 are extremely unlikely to develop primary bone cancer. It’s more frequent among kids, teenagers, and young adults.

While other cancers can spread to the bones, they are not the same as primary bone cancer. Bone metastasis, also known as secondary bone cancer, is cancer that originates in another region of the body and spreads to the bone. This kind of cancer is far more frequent than primary bone cancer.

A cancer that begins in the bone is known as primary bone cancer. A bone sarcoma is another term for it. Bone cancer that develops from the inside out is quite uncommon. Every year, around 600 people in the UK are diagnosed with it. People of all ages can be affected. Men are significantly more likely than women to suffer from this condition.

Bone Cancer

It’s not the same as a cancer that has moved from another part of the body to the bones. Secondary bone cancer is a lot more prevalent than initial bone cancer. If you have primary or secondary bone cancer, your doctor will diagnose you.

Signs and symptoms 

Strong pain in the afflicted bone or joint is the most prevalent sign of primary and secondary bone cancer. The discomfort grows persistent over time and does not respond to modest pain medications like paracetamol. It’s possible that it’ll be harsher at night or while you’re doing anything active.

Apart from pain, there are other signs and symptoms of primary and secondary bone cancer:

  • Swelling around the bone’s afflicted area
  • Tenderness or stiffness in the bone
  • Difficulties moving around, such as an inexplicable limp
  • In the afflicted limb, there is a lack of sensation.
  • Inexplicable bone fracture
  • Weight loss that isn’t explained
  • Weariness.


The following are some of the variables that might raise your risk of bone cancer:

  • Prior radiotherapy, especially for those who got large doses of radiation at an early age
  • Paget’s disease of the bone, for example, is a disorder that affects the bones.
  • Inherited disorders like li-fraumeni syndrome, as well as a significant family history of some malignancies, are all genetic variables.
Bone Cancer

Risk Factors

  • Adolescents and children under the age of 20
  • People who have previously had high-dose radiation therapy or chemotherapy with alkylating chemicals
  • Having a mutation in the Rb gene (retinoblastoma gene)
  • Bone illness or abnormalities that run in families
  • People suffering from chronic inflammatory illnesses such as Paget’s disease.


1. Osteosarcoma

The most prevalent kind of bone cancer in youngsters is osteosarcoma. Osteosarcomas account for about half of all paediatric bone malignancies. They are particularly common during the teenage growth surge in the second decade of life. They’re most prevalent where a long bone’s end (called the metaphysis) has the most rapid development. This comprises the femur (thigh bone) adjacent to the knee, the tibia (shin bone) next to the knee, and the humerus (upper arm bone) next to the shoulder.

Osteosarcoma is the most frequent malignant tumour of the bones. Pleomorphic osteoblasts create too much osteoid tissue, which causes osteosarcoma (immature bone tissue). The metaphysis (the ends) of long bones, such as the arm at the shoulder and the distal femur and proximal tibia (around the knee joint), are common sites for osteosarcoma. It frequently spreads swiftly to other areas of the body, including the lungs. Adolescents are most commonly affected by osteosarcoma, but it may affect any bone, especially in older individuals. Mutations in the pRB protein and the p53 protein, which are connected to osteosarcoma, are also linked to other cancer forms.

Bone Cancer

Osteosarcoma Symptoms

The most frequent sign of bone cancer is pain. However, depending on where the cancer is located, symptoms may differ. It’s possible that the region could swell and be unpleasant to touch. When a cancer-weakened bone fractures, it is occasionally discovered to be primary bone cancer. This might happen as a result of a little mishap or tumble.

Other diseases that are more prevalent than bone cancer can cause these symptoms. Consult your doctor if you have any swelling or unexplained bone discomfort. If the pain occurs at night or while you are sleeping, tell your doctor.

Causes of Osteosarcoma

Primary bone cancer is caused by unknown factors. Osteosarcoma can occur during periods of rapid bone growth, such as puberty. This may help to explain why teens are more likely to develop osteosarcoma.

Adults with Paget’s illness or who have already had radiation may be at an increased risk of getting osteosarcoma later in life. Osteosarcoma is a rare cancer that can develop in people who receive a defective gene from their parents (Li-Fraumeni syndrome). Other forms of cancer are more likely as a result of this gene mutation.

2. Chondrosarcoma

Chondrosarcoma is the second most frequent kind of primary bone cancer, however it seldom affects persons under the age of 20. People over the age of 40 are the ones who are most impacted, with the risk growing as they get older. The soft tissue at the end of a bone called cartilage is where chondrosarcoma begins.

3. Ewing sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a kind of bone cancer named after the doctor who originally characterised it. It encompasses a wide range of tumours with comparable characteristics and origins in the same sorts of cells. These tumours can develop in the bones as well as the soft tissue around them. Ewing sarcoma usually develops in the hips, ribs, and shoulder blades, as well as long bones like the legs.

4. Spindle Cell Sarcoma

Spindle cell sarcomas are a form of bone cancer that mostly affects adults in their forties and fifties. In persons under the age of 20, they are exceedingly infrequent. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, and undifferentiated sarcoma of the bone are the four distinct kinds of spindle cell sarcomas.

The four different kinds are described in further detail below:

  • A bone in the leg, particularly around the knee joint or in the arm, is most likely to be affected by malignant fibrous histiocytoma.
  • The most common site of fibrosarcoma is the thigh bone (femur).
  • The thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), and upper arm bone (ulna) are the most prevalent sites for leiomyosarcoma (humerus).
  • Undifferentiated sarcoma of the bone can develop in any bone, although it most commonly occurs in the limbs or the pelvis.
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