Bone Cancer News

Bone cancer, or a malignant tumor that actually starts in the bone, is a very rare form of cancer. When this does occur, it’s called primary bone cancer. But other types of cancer can affect the bones as well. When cancer begins in the lungs, breasts or other parts of the body and then spreads to the bones, this is known as metastatic cancer. There are also cancers that begin in the blood-producing cells of the bone, known as the bone marrow. These include multiple myeloma, leukemia and some lymphomas. But here again, these types of cancers are usually not referred to as "bone cancer."

If a cancer that is truly defined as bone cancer is present, it can affect any of the cells of the bones. The types of cancer most often found are osteosarcoma, which affects tissue known as osteoid; chondrosarcoma, which affects cartilage; and the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors, a group of cancers that often infect the soft tissue around the bones as well as the bones themselves.

In many cases, bone cancer may exhibit no symptoms. If bone cancer does present symptoms, the primary one is pain emanating from the bones. This pain can increase as the cancer progresses.

Causes of Bone Cancer

Bone cancer may be caused by genetic mutations. Other risk factors for developing bone cancer include age and smoking, though some people with no risk factors can also develop bone cancer.


The most common treatment for a bone cancer is surgery to remove the tumor. Surgical procedures have improved enough over the years that this can usually be done without the patient losing an entire limb. However, some type of reconstruction surgery may be necessary after the surgery to restore the bone to full function. After surgery, follow-up treatments of radiation, chemotherapy or cryosurgery may be required to rid the body of cancerous cells.

SOURCES: U.S. National Cancer Institute; American Cancer Society

Date Posted
Article Title
Experimental Gene-Targeted Drug Hits Cancer Where It Lives

But the gene flaw is rare, affecting less than 1 percent of typical cancers, researchers say

Hopes Dashed for Rare Bone Cancer Treatment

Extra chemo drugs failed to change course of osteosarcoma, researchers say

Archeological Finds Push First Known Cancer Back 2 Million Years

Discoveries challenge belief that it is a modern-day disease

Dogs Join Fight Against Bone Cancer

FDA-approved drugs to be tested on canines with bone cancer that also affects humans

Newsman Tom Brokaw Has Many Treatment Options for His Blood Cancer

Doctors note advances in therapies have boosted survival rates

Experimental Treatment for Rare Soft-Tissue Cancer Shows Promise in Mice

Study looked at method for blocking key growth protein in malignant nerve sheath tumors

IVF Conception Doesn't Seem to Raise Kids' Cancer Risk: Study

British researchers followed more than 100,000 children for 17 years

Radiation Therapy Overused in Advanced Prostate Cancer, Study Says

Just one session is needed for effective pain relief, but many men get 10, according to researcher

Tumor in Bone Shows Neanderthals Got Cancer Too

Discovery sheds light on history of tumors in humans, researchers say

Some Cancer Risks Higher in 9/11 Recovery Workers: Study

Cases of prostate, thyroid, multiple myeloma cancers seen over years

Newer Bone Drug Better for Advanced Breast Cancer Patients: Study

But expert says it's too soon to say it will replace older drug

New Drug May Help Fight Rare Bone Marrow Disorder

Jakafi won't cure myelofibrosis, but it improves quality of life, studies find

Study of Bone Cancer in Dogs May Improve Treatment in Kids

Research in canines may lead to tests that can predict aggressiveness of disease in humans

Popular Bone Drugs Linked to Reduced Colon Cancer Risk

People taking Fosamax, other bisphosphonates had lowered odds compared to non-users, study found

Xgeva Approved to Prevent Fractures in Bone Cancer Patients

Blocks protein that destroys bone cells

Childhood Cancer Survivors At Higher Odds of Early Death

Life expectancy is reduced by 10 years on average, study finds

Two Babies Born a Year Apart After Ovary Transplant

First reported case where procedure led to natural second pregnancy

Low-Dose Platelet Transfusions Deemed Safe

Study finds no bleeding risk in practice that could stretch limited supplies

Bone Drugs May Beat Back Breast Cancer

Bisphosphonates seem to prevent recurrence, researchers find

Lab Study Slows Breast Cancer Spread to Bone in Mice

Experimental drug may lead to therapy that inhibits metastasis, research suggests

Study Finds Less Toxic Treatment for Myeloma

Lower dose of standard medication leads to better outcome, researchers say

Limb-Sparing Surgery May Offer Little Benefit to Cancer Patients

It doesn't affect quality of life in most cases, review finds

Whites More Likely to Get Rare Bone Cancer

Reasons for racial disparity remain unclear, researcher says

Bone Cement Eases Pain of Late-Stage Cancers

Italian researchers report bedridden patients walked 24 hours after treatment

Bone Drug Lowers Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

Zometa, used to treat osteoporosis, showed no unanticipated side effects, researchers report

Molecule Disrupts DNA Sequence in Ewing's Sarcoma

Finding could yield first targeted therapy for the rare disease, researchers say

Trial Uses Measles to Kill Bone Marrow Cancer

Researchers look to engineer the virus as treatment for multiple myeloma

Rheumatoid Arthritis Boosts Cancer Death Risk: Study

Researchers urge further investigation into targeted therapies to improve survival rate

Childhood Cancer Survivors Face Increased Sarcoma Risk

They were nine times more likely to develop secondary malignancy, study finds

Infection-Fighting Cancer Treatment Could Boost Leukemia Risk

But the benefits of growth factors may outweigh the concerns, experts say

3-Drug Regimen Is New Tool in Leukemia Fight

Study finds therapy produces significant gains against blood, bone marrow cancers

Breast Cancer Gene Tied to Non-Breast Tumors in Men

BRCA2 mutations up risks for other malignancies, study finds

Genes Discovered That May Predict Breast Cancer Spread to Lungs

Finding could one day help doctors better tailor therapy for patients, study says

New Options Offer Relief from Cancer-Related Bone Pain

Freezing or heating tumors kills the cancer and the pain

Web-Based Cancer Research Reaps Reward

Online appeal to patients helps ID bone marrow cancer gene

Bone Cancer Drug Shrinks Cervical Tumors

But mouse study doesn't prove treatment works in women

Beating Multiple Myeloma

Study results may help find new treatment for incurable cancer

New Treatment for Some Cancers

High-energy radio-isotope slows bone metastases, researchers found

Stem Cell Transplant Should Be Tried First With Multiple Myeloma

Expert panel recommends it over standard chemotherapy

Thalidomide Fights Multiple Myeloma

Once controversial drug may help delay progression of cancer for up to two years

New Hope for Kids With Bone Cancer

Reconstructed hip working well, Italians report

New Generation of Thalidomide Shows Promise Against Cancer

Latest research finds more potent drug stems bone marrow cancer

Cancer Drug Scores Again

Gleevec shows promise against bone tumor