Bone Cancer


Bone cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer. There are various different types of bone cancers and some of the more common types within this group include:

  • Osteosarcoma (osteogenic sarcoma) – this is the most common of this group, with around 150 people diagnosed within the UK yearly. This type of cancer generally occurs in the thigh, shin or upper arm bone. Whilst this form of cancer is more common in young people it can affect all ages
  • Ewing’s sarcoma – this form of cancer generally occurs within young people but can occur in adults. Common sites for this cancer to originate are the thigh, shin and pelvis bones. Ewing’s sarcoma can also occur in soft tissue where it is known as extraosseous sarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma – this sarcoma tends to affect those in their middle age. It is a slow growing tumour which generally originates in the thigh or upper arm bone although it can form in other bones of the body
  • Spindle cell sarcoma – this rare form of sarcoma tends to affect older people and can be split into four sub groups:
    • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma – generally occurs in the leg or arm bone
    • Fibrosarcoma – generally occurs in the thigh bone
    • Leiomyosarcoma – generally occurs in the upper arm, shin or thigh bone
    • Undifferentiated sarcoma – can occur in any bone in the body but generally bone which is within a limb or the pelvis
  • Chordoma – this slow growing cancer is very rare but is most common in the 40s/50s age group. This cancer originates in the neck or at the bottom of the spine
  • Angiosarcoma – this sarcoma tends to occur most in the over 20s although it can occur at any age. It can occur in any bone in the body and more than one bone at any time or in more than one place in the same bone

Things to look out for

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Broken bones subsequent to a minor incident – bone is weakened by disease known as a pathological fracture
  • Limited movement if cancer occurs near to joint
  • Pain or swelling around tumour area
  • Generally feeling unwell – tiredness, fever or weight loss

If you have any of these symptoms it is important to rule cancer out as a cause.