Bone Cancer

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What Is Bone Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about bone cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for cancer of the bones and joints for 2016 are:

  • About 3,300 new cases will be diagnosed
  • About 1,490 deaths from these cancers are expected.

Primary cancers of bones account for less than 0.2% of all cancers.

In adults, over 40% of primary bone cancers are chondrosarcomas. This is followed by osteosarcomas (28%), chordomas (10%), Ewing tumors (8%), and malignant fibrous histiocytoma/fibrosarcomas (4%). The remainder of cases are several rare types of bone cancers.

In children and teenagers (those younger than 20 years), osteosarcoma (56%) and Ewing tumors (34%) are much more common than chondrosarcoma (6%).

Chondrosarcomas develop most often in adults, with an average age at diagnosis of 51. Less than 5% of cases occur in patients younger than 20.

Chordomas are also more common in adults. Less than 5% of cases occur in patients younger than 20.

Both osteosarcomas and Ewing tumors occur most often in children and teens.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

Last Medical Review: 03/21/2014
Last Revised: 01/21/2016