Cancer Observance Calendar
Sarcoma and Bone Cancer Awareness Month
Bone cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that begins when cells in the bone start to grow out of control.
Most of the time when an adult with cancer is told they have cancer in the bones, the doctor is talking about a cancer that started somewhere else and then spread to the bones. This is called bone metastasis. It can happen with many different types of
advanced cancer, like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. When the cancer cells in the bone are looked at under a microscope, they look like the cancer cells in the organ they came from. So, if someone has lung cancer that has spread to the bone, the cancer cells in the bone look and act like lung cancer cells, not bone cancer cells, so they need treatments that are used for lung cancer.
Primary bone cancers are also known as bone sarcomas. (Sarcomas are cancers that start in bone, muscle, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, fat tissue, as well as some other tissues. They can develop anywhere in the body.)
Some types of primary bone cancers:
Osteosarcoma – It is the most common primary bone cancer and most often occurs in young people between the ages of 10 and 30. 1 in 10 osteosarcomas develop in people older than 60. It’s rare in middle-aged people and is more common in males than females.
Ewing tumor (Ewing sarcoma) – Is the second most common type of primary bone cancer in children, teens and young adults and the third most common type of bone cancer overall. They occur most often in white people and are rare among African
Americans and Asian Americans.
Chondrosarcoma – It is the second most common primary bone cancer. It’s rare in people younger than 20, and the risk of chondrosarcoma goes up as people get older.
High-grade undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) of bone – It most often starts in soft tissues, such as ligament, tendons, fat, and muscle. It’s rare in bones, but when it does occur, it usually affects the legs or arms. This cancer most often occurs in elderly and middle-aged adults. It is rarely found in children.
Fibrosarcoma of bone – This is another type of cancer that develops more often in soft tissues than it does in bones. It usually occurs in middle-aged adults.
Giant cell tumor of bone – This type of primary bone tumor can be either benign or malignant and typically affect the legs or arms. The benign form is more common. These tumors are most common in people in their 20s and 30s.
Chordoma – This uncommon type of bone tumor occurs in the bones of the spine, most often at the bottom of the spine or the base of the skull. It develops most often in adults older than 30. It’s about twice as common in men as in women. It can develop in children, but is rare.
Other cancers that develop in bones:
Some other cancers develop in the bones, but they do not start in the actual bone cells. These cancers start in early forms of blood cells or immune cells in the bone marrow. These are not considered to be primary bone cancers.
Multiple myeloma – Tumors develop in the bones, but it is not a primary bone cancer because it starts in plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Leukemias – This starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, not in the bone itself. Most of these are cancers of early forms of white blood cells, but they can also start in other types of blood cells.
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas – Starts in the early forms of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Most often these cancers develop in lymph nodes or in other parts of the body that contain lymph tissue. In rare cases, a lymphoma can show up first in
the bones. This is known as a primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma of bone (PLB).
For more information on Bone Cancer and the latest in Research: Bone Cancer: New Research and Studies | American Cancer Society