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 2014 are:

  • About 3,020 new cases will be diagnosed
  • About 1,460 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.


Last Medical Review: 03/21/2014
Last Revised: 04/21/2014