Cancers of the bone develop when bone cells undergo anomalous mutations that cause them to behave unnaturally, resulting in a structure known as a tumor. This rare disease accounts for more than 2000 cancer diagnoses in the U.S. each year, predominately affecting children and adolescents. In adults, these cancers are usually the result of metastatic spread from another cancer. Learn more about bone cancer symptoms, the stages of bone cancer, the various methods of treating bone cancer or more detail on bone tumors.
The most frequently diagnosed forms of bone cancer are:
This is the most common form of primary bone cancer. It typically arises in the bones of the arms and legs, and aggressively invades the knees and shoulders of children. Males between the ages of ten and twenty-five are most at risk of developing osteosarcoma. The five-year survival rate for this disease is 65%.
This disease represents 25% of all bone cancer diagnoses in the U.S. It develops in the cells of the cartilage and has a variable temperament. In some cases, the disease is slow growing. In others, it advances aggressively. Chondrosarcoma has a male predominance and is among the few bone cancers that typically affects people over forty. Depending its behavior, the five-year survival rate for this disease can be as high as 90%.
This cancer typically affects people between four and fifteen years old. Ewing’s Sarcoma occurs predominantly in males and most frequently affects the bones of the arms and legs. Furthermore, it is the most aggressive primary malignancy of the bone. Three-year survival rates for this disease can be as high as 65%, but are often much lower if the disease has spread to other areas of the body.
bone cancer risk factors
Approximately 95% of all people who develop bone cancer do not have any pronounced risk factors. It is generally considered a sporadic disease. However, scientists have identified a number of features that may increase someone’s chances of developing a primary malignancy of the bone:
- Age: Bone cancer most commonly affects children and young adults.
- Paget’s Disease: Adults diagnosed with Paget’s disease have an increased chance of developing bone cancer. Paget’s disease is characterized by anomalous bone growth. This new bone growth is a cancer-prone material similar to the immature bone tissue in children.
- Family History: A small number of bone cancers have been linked to hereditary gene mutations. Li-Fraumeni syndrome, for example, is the result of a heredity mutation of the tumor suppressor gene known as p53.
bone cancer outlook
The outlook (prognosis) for patients with primary malignancies of the bone varies according to the type and stage of the disease. Five-year survival rates can be as high as 95% in slow-growing cancer cases. Aggressive tumors, on the other hand, typically result in a less positive prognosis.
bone cancer prevention
Most risk factors associated with bone cancer cannot be avoided. These inescapable factors include age and gender. Presently, there is no known method of preventing this disease.