Key Statistics About Bone Cancer

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for primary cancer of the bones and joints for 2021 are:

  • About 3,610 new cases diagnosed
  • About 2,060 deaths

This includes cancers in both children and adults.

Primary bone cancers (cancers that start in the bones) are uncommon, accounting for less than 1% of all cancers. In adults, cancers that spread to the bones from other organs (known as bone metastasis) are much more common than primary bone cancers.

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary bone cancer overall, followed by chondrosarcoma and Ewing tumors (Ewing sarcomas). But this varies by age group.

In adults, the most common primary bone cancer is chondrosarcoma. This is followed by osteosarcomas, chordomas, and Ewing tumors. Other types of bone cancer are much less common.

In children and teens, osteosarcoma and Ewing tumors are much more common than chondrosarcoma or other types of bone cancers.

The prognosis (outlook) for people with bone cancer depends on many factors, including the type of bone cancer, the location of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) when it’s first found, the person’s age and overall health, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. For more on this, see Survival Rates for Bone Cancer.

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

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2021. American Cancer Society. Atlanta, Ga. 2021.

National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Bone and Joint Cancer. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/bones.html on August 10, 2020.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Bone Cancer. Version 1.2020. Accessed at www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/bone.pdf on August 10, 2020.

Last Revised: June 17, 2021

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