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Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is caused by a problem with the bone cells. Every year, more than 2000 Americans are diagnosed with bone tumor. Bone tumor is abnormal growth of tissue in the bone that can be both benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are two types of bone tumors. The primary tumor is a tumor that develops within the bone and can be benign or malignant. The secondary tumor is a result of metastases from a tumor in some other part of the body. Bone tumor occurs most commonly in children and adolescents and is less common in older adults.

Bone Cancer Types

There are different types of bone cancer. The most common include: osteosarcoma, Erwing’s sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, multiple myeloma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma, and chordoma.

Osteosarcoma

It is the most common primary malignant bone cancer. It mostly affects males between 10 and 25 years. Osteosarcoma may develop in any part of the body but usually it occurs in the bones of legs (knees) and arms (shoulders). This type of cancer is very aggressive with risk of spreading to the lungs. 

Erwing’s Sarcoma

This type of bone cancer is the most aggressive and affects younger people, between 5 and 20 years of age. It usually occurs in males. Erwing’s sarcoma commonly develops in the middle of the long bones of the legs and arms. It may develop in the soft tissues as well.

Chondrosarcoma

The second most common bone tumor is Chondrosarcoma. It arises from the cartilage cells. It is most commonly diagnosed in people over 40 years of age. The bone tumor is usually slow growing. The most common sites for chondrosarcoma are the pelvis, thigh bone, upper arm, shoulder blade and the ribs. It may spread to lungs and lymph nodes.

Multiple Myeloma

It is a tumor of the bone marrow cells. Multiple myeloma mostly affects people of 50 to 70 years of age. It may affect any bone in the body and in early stages may be mistaken for joint pain.

Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma

It is a rare type of spindle cell sarcoma. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma tends to be found in middle aged adults. Men are more susceptible to this type of cancer. It is an aggressive bone cancer type and may affect bones of the arms and legs.

Fibrosarcoma

This is a very rare type of bone cancer. It is commonly seen in middle aged adults (between 35 to 55 years) and men are more affected than women. Fibrosarcoma usually develops in the soft tissues of the leg, behind the knee.

Chordoma

Chordoma is a very rare, slow growing type of cancer. It is most commonly seen in people between 40 and 60 years of age. It tends to occur more often in women than men. It may occur in the skull or in the bones of the spine.

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