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Key Statistics About Bone Cancer

It's more common for cancer to spread to the bone (bone metastasis) than it is for cancer to start in the bones (primary bone cancer).

How common is bone cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for primary cancer of the bones and joints for 2024 are:

  • About 3,970 new cases diagnosed (2,270 in males and 1,700 in females)
  • About 2,050 deaths (1,100 in males and 950 in females)

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.

What types of bone cancer are most common?

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.

What is the prognosis for people with bone cancer?

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 editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society 2024.

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: January 17, 2024

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