At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know that bone cancer is relatively rare, accounting for 1% of all cancer cases in the United States.
Quite often, bone cancer is the result of metastasis. This means that cancer from elsewhere has spread to the bone. These cancers show the original cancerous cells and not those associated with bone cancer. In these cases, the cancer is treated by following the original course of treatment for the initial tumor.
But there are also primary cancers of the bone. This means that the cancer starts in the bone. Primary bone cancer is not common. Only 2 of every 1000 cancers diagnosed in the US each year are primary bone cancer. Bones are composed of:
The type of bone cancer depends on where in the bone it starts.
There are two main types of bone cancer. In adults, cancers that form in the organs and spread to the bones, or metastasize, are the most common and are called secondary bone cancers. Primary bone cancers, also called bone sarcomas, develop in the bones and often spread to other areas.
The primary forms of bone cancer from most common to least common include:
Giant cell tumor is another primary bone tumor often occurring in young people between age 20 and 30. However, the tumor is noncancerous, or benign, and usually forms near the joints of long bones, such as the shins and thighs.
The secondary types of bone cancer
There are several types of secondary bone cancer. These cancers are slightly different from metastasized bone cancer because they don’t form in the bone cells. Instead, they form in the blood or immune cells found in bone marrow.
The secondary types of bone cancer include:
Research is increasing regarding what we know about bone cancer. Scientists are learning more about its causes. Following are common risk factors for the disease:
Genetic Disorders – A small number of bone tumors are believed to be the result of genetic mutations:
Radiation – Exposure to large doses of radiation may increase the risk of developing bone cancer. Radioactive materials such as radium and strontium can also cause bone cancer because these minerals build up in bones.