Several types of Bone cancer exist. Some types of bone cancer occur primarily in children, while others affect mostly adults.
Types of Bone Cancer
- Osteosarcoma :
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of Bone Cancer, making up 35 percent of bone cancer cases. This Cancer affects primarily children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 25. Osteosarcoma often starts in the ends of bones, where new tissue forms as children grow. It arises most often in the knee.
Chondrosarcomas, one of the most common types of Bone Cancer in adults over age 50, form in cartilage — usually around the pelvis, knee, shoulders, or upper part of the thighs. These cancers make up 26 percent of all bone cancer cases.
- Ewing’s Sarcoma
Ewing’s sarcoma occurs most often in the middle part of bones, arising most often in the hip, ribs, upper arm, and thighbones. Like osteosarcoma, this cancer affects primarily children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 25. Ewing’s sarcoma is responsible for 16 percent of bone cancer cases.
- Rarer Bone Cancers
The following types of Bone Cancer are rare, and occur primarily in adults:
- Fibrosarcomas usually appear in the knee or hip area. They can arise in older patients after radiation therapy.
- Adamantinomas usually occur in the shinbone.
- Chordomas are found most often in the sacrum — the lower part of the spine, also known as the tailbone.
- Most cases of Bone Cancer occur in children or young adults aged up to 20.
- Patients who have received radiation therapy (radiotherapy).
- People with a history of Paget’s disease.
- People with a close relative (parent or sibling) who has/had bone cancer.
- Individuals with hereditary retinoblastoma – a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children.
- People with Li-Fraumeni syndrome – a rare genetic condition.
- Babies born with an umbilical hernia.
Surgery is used to remove the Bone Cancer itself. When operating to remove Bone Tumors, surgeons remove some of the surrounding Bone and muscle to be sure that they are removing as much cancerous tissue as possible. If the operation is on an arm or leg, the surgeon will try, as much as possible, to preserve the limb and maintain its functionality. Sometimes the bone that is removed will be replaced with bone from another part of the body, bone from the tissue bank or with an artificial replacement.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is sometimes given together with surgery, to destroy tumors or to reduce the size of the tumor. Radiation therapy may also be used to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery or treat tumors that cannot be surgically removed sometimes in combination with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is often used to treat Primary Bone Cancers, in conjunction with surgery. Chemotherapy is commonly given before surgery to facilitate surgery and also after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain in the body after the main tumor is removed surgically.