(Osteosarcoma; Chondrosarcoma; Fibrosarcoma; Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma; Primary Lymphoma of Bone; Giant Cell Tumor; Chordoma)
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Bone cancer is a growth that destroys normal bone tissue. It can also spread beyond the bone. It may be:
Other types of bone cancer are:
Bone cancer happens when cells divide without control or order. These cells grow together to form a tumor. They can invade and damage nearby tissues. They can also spread to other parts of the body.
The cause of primary bone cancer is unknown. Genes most likely play a role.
Things that may raise the risk of bone cancer are:
There may be other things that raise the risk. It depends on the type of bone cancer.
Symptoms will vary. They depend on the size and site of the tumor. Symptoms may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Signs of cancer can be found with:
Images can show where the tumor is and how large it may be. They can also show if a cancer has spread. Tests may include:
Test results will be used for staging. This will outline how far and fast the cancer has spread.
Treatment depends on the type, stage, and site of the cancer. It also depends on a person's overall health. Options may be:
There are no current guidelines to prevent bone cancer.
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Canadian Cancer Society
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
Bone cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/bone-cancer.html. Accessed March 17, 2021.
Bone cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/bone/bone-fact-sheet. Accessed March 17, 2021.
Ferguson JL, Turner SP. Bone cancer: diagnosis and treatment principles. Am Fam Physician. 2018;98(4):205-213.
Osteosarcoma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/osteosarcoma-in-adults. Accessed March 17, 2021.
Osteosarcoma in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/osteosarcoma-in-children. Accessed March 17, 2021.
Last reviewed Januray 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 3/17/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.