Types of Bone cancer | Treatment Options | Oncology

Bone cancer

Overview of bone cancer

Bone cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the bone are out of control. It destroys normal bone tissue. It starts in your bone or spreads to other parts of your body (called metastasis).

Bone cancer is very rare. Most bone tumors are benign, which means they are not cancerous and do not spread to other parts of your body. But they can still weaken your bones and lead to broken bones or other problems.

There are some common types of benign bone tumors:

  • Osteoporosis is the most common. It often occurs in people under the age of 20.
  • The giant cell tumor is usually on your leg. In rare cases, these can also be cancerous.
  • Osteoid osteoma often presents in the long bones, usually in the 20s.
  • Osteoblastoma is a rare tumor that grows in the spine and long bones, mainly in young people.

Enchondroma usually appears in the bones of the hands and feet. Often it has no symptoms. It is also known as primary bone cancer. Primary bone tumors are tumors that originate in bone tissue and can be benign or malignant (bone cancer). Benign (non-cancerous) tumors are more common in bone than bone cancer.

When bone cancer is found, it originates in the bone (similar to primary bone cancer) or spreads to the bone after birth elsewhere (bone metastasis or secondary cancer). In fact, when bone cancer is found, most of the time it is a metastasis that begins in another organ or part of the body and spreads to the bone.

This cancer with bone metastases gets its name from where original cancer started (for example, metastatic prostate cancer that has spread to the bone). Breast, prostate, and lung cancers are some of the most common bone cancers that develop. Less commonly, cancer begins within the bone as primary bone cancer and is true bone cancer. Metastatic primary and secondary bone cancers are often treated differently and have a different prognosis.

Although they are not considered true bone cancers, other cancers begin in the bones. Lymphoma is a cancer of the cells that trigger the body’s immune response. Lymphoma usually begins in the lymph nodes, but sometimes it begins in the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma is another immune cell cancer that usually begins in the bone marrow. These tumors are not considered primary bone cancers because they are not derived from the original bone cells.

Bone cancer types

They are formed directly in surrounding tissues, such as bone or cartilage. Cancer can also spread or metastasize to your bones from another part of your body. This is called secondary bone cancer, and this type is more common than primary bone cancer.

Common types of primary bone cancers:

  • Multiple myeloma (MM): Multiple myeloma is multiple types of bone cancer. MM usually affects the elderly. Among bone cancers, MM is one of the best diagnoses, and most people with it do not need treatment.
  • Osteosarcoma (osteogenic sarcoma): It tends to arise at the tips of the long bones of the arms and legs. Osteosarcoma can also start in the hips, shoulders, or other areas. It affects the hard tissue that provides the outer layer of bones.
  • Chondrosarcoma: Chondrosarcoma can occur in the pelvis, thighs, and shoulders of the elderly. It forms in the subchondral tissue, which is the tight connective tissue between the bones. It is the second most common primary cancer-associated with bones.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: Ewing sarcoma is a rare cancer that begins directly in the soft tissues around the bones or in the bones of children and adolescents. The long bones of the body, such as the arms, legs, and pelvis, are often affected.

Causes of bone cancer

Bone cancers are classified into specific types based on the number of cells that started cancer. In this tumor, cancer cells make new bone tissue. This type of bone cancer occurs most often in children and adolescents, in the bones of the leg or arm. In rare cases, osteoporosis (extracranial osteosarcoma) can occur outside the bone.

The most common types of bone cancer are:

  • Chondrosarcoma: The second most common form of bone cancer is chondrosarcoma. In this tumor, cancer cells make cartilage.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: Ewing sarcoma tumors are most likely to occur in the pelvis, legs, or arms of children and adolescents.

Bone cancer symptoms & signs


First, the pain is not constant. It can be worse at night or when the bone is used, for example, pain in the legs when walking. As cancer progresses, pain is present at all times and becomes more intense with activity.


Swelling in the painful area may not occur until weeks later. It is possible to feel a lump or mass depending on where the tumor is. Cancers of the neck bones cause a lump in the back of the throat that makes it difficult to swallow or make it difficult to breathe.


Bone cancer weakens the bone it is in, but most do not break (break). People with a fracture to the side or through a bone tumor usually describe sudden severe pain in the bone that has been sore for a few months.

Other details

Cancer in the bones of the spine can cause stress, numbness, and tingling or weakness in the nerves. Cancer causes weight loss and fatigue. If cancer spreads to internal organs, it can cause other symptoms as well. For example, if cancer has spread to the lungs, it can cause shortness of breath.

These symptoms are more likely to be due to conditions other than cancer, such as injury or arthritis. However, if these problems persist for a long time without an unknown cause, you should see your doctor.

Risk factors

Any risk factor that affects the possibility of contracting a disease such as cancer. Different types of cancer have different risk factors. For example, exposure of the skin to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for cancer of the lung, mouth, larynx, bladder, kidneys, and many other organs. But being a risk factor or being too high doesn’t mean you get the disease.

Genetic defects

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer in children that is inherited.  People with this mutation are also at risk for bone or soft tissue sarcomas. Also, if radiation therapy is used to treat retinoblastoma, the risk of developing osteoporosis in the bones around the eye is higher.

Finally, there are families with many members who have developed osteoporosis without inherited changes in known genes. The genetic defects that cause cancer in these families have not yet been identified.


These tumors are mainly made up of cartilage. They are painful and can cause deformities and/or broken bones. The disorder is caused by a mutation in any of the 3 genes EXT1, EXT2, or EXT3. Patients with this condition are at increased risk for chondrosarcoma.

Most of these tumors have a condition called multiple enchondromatosis. They are at risk of developing chondrosarcomas.


Chordomas seem to run in some families. changes on the chromosome. Patients with inherited tuberous sclerosis syndrome caused by defects (mutations) in the TSC1 and TSC2 genes appear to be at increased risk of developing cardiomas in childhood.

Paget’s disease

Paget’s disease is a benign (non-cancerous) non-cancerous condition that affects one or more bones. It leads to abnormal bone tissue formation and occurs most often in people over the age of 50. The affected bones are heavy, thick, and brittle. These are bones that are weaker than normal and are prone to fracture. For the most part, Paget’s disease is not fatal. Bone cancer (usually osteoporosis) develops in 1% of people with Paget’s disease, and generally affects most of the bones.


Bones exposed to ionizing radiation are also at risk for bone cancer. A typical bone X-ray is harmless, but exposure to large doses of radiation can be dangerous. Being treated at an early age and/or with high doses of radiation (usually more than 60 Gy) increases your risk of bone cancer.

Ionizing radiation, such as microwaves, power lines, mobile phones, and electromagnetic fields from appliances, do not increase the risk of bone cancer.

Preventive measures


People need to know their genes for a history of cancer and other risks that can affect their medical condition.

Skeletal fragility

It is very important to inform us about bone health so that further complications can be prevented for the prevention of bone diseases. Also, read more about risk factors for bone cancer.

Other diseases

Anyone suffering from osteoporosis needs an evaluation of the secondary causes of the disease.

Diet and nutrition

Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is essential to keep the body fit enough to deal with unnecessary problems.


Physical exercise and yoga are effective in curing diseases. It keeps the body circulating properly and helps prevent diseases.


Medications that prevent bone fractures are anti-absorbent for the most common bone diseases. These are effective in reducing the risk of future cracks. Both drugs prevent the skeleton from deteriorating and allow some repair and restoration of bone mass and strength.

Additionally, anabolic therapy can help build new bone and reduce the risk of more fractures. It prevents and treats osteoporosis, which is applicable to other bone diseases.

General understanding

There should be community programs and campaigns to educate people about bone cancer, its symptoms, causes, risks, and stages. People should be informed about medications that increase the risk of bone disease and prevent it.

Keep tobacco unrestricted

A healthy lifestyle is essential to prevent any type of cancer. Smoking is not something that will lead to a happier life without cancer.

Early diagnosis

Early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment before metastasis. It is necessary to consult a doctor for screening and detection before the onset of a more damaging phase.


Imaging tests can help determine the location and size of a bone tumor and whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body. The types of imaging tests recommended are based on your individual signs and symptoms. The exams may include:

  • Bone scan
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Bone scan

Bone cancer treatment

Treatment options for your bone cancer depend on the type of cancer you have, the stage of cancer, your general health, and your preferences.


In most cases, there are special techniques to remove the tumor in one piece, along with a small piece of healthy tissue. The surgeon will replace the lost bone with bone from another area of your body, from the bone bank, or with metal and hard plastic.

Bone cancers are very large or located in a complex area of the bone. Surgery may be required to remove all or part of the organ (amputation). As other treatments have been developed, amputation is less and less common. If amputation is required, you can have an artificial limb fitted and training to learn daily tasks with your new limb.


Chemotherapy involves the administration of drugs that kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing. However, this type of treatment works better for some types of bone cancer than others. For example, chemotherapy for chondrosarcoma is usually not very effective, but it is an important part of the treatment of osteoporosis and Ewing’s sarcoma.


During radiation therapy, a special machine moves around you and directs the energy beams to precise points on your body. Radiation therapy is often used before surgery because it can shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove. This helps reduce the chance that an amputation will be required.

Radiation therapy can also be used in people with bone cancer that cannot be removed surgically. After surgery, radiation therapy may be used to kill the remaining cancer cells. For people with advanced bone cancer, radiation therapy can help control signs and symptoms, such as pain.

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