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Bone cancer


Tumors are cancerous or noncancerous growths that form when too many cells grow. There are many types of bone tumors. The two main types are: 

  • Primary bone tumors — both cancerous and noncancerous 
  • Metastatic bone tumors — cancerous growths that come from cancer that started in another part of the body 



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  • When too many cancer cells grow in the bone, a cancerous tumor can form. It's often not clear why bone cancer starts.

  • Usually bone cancer is found because a person is feeling pain. But not all bone cancers cause pain. Sometimes people have a lump, a bone break or a fever. 

  • There are many ways your doctor may find bone cancer. Your doctor might do one or more of the following:

    • A physical exam
    • A blood test 
    • An imaging test, like an X-ray or bone scan 
    • A biopsy (taking a sample of tissue from your body and testing it)
    • Ask about your family medical history as well as yours
  • Bone cancer is not common. Less than 1% of all cancers found are bone cancer. 


  • Bone cancer is more common with people who have: 

    • Had a bone marrow transplant 
    • A family history of bone cancer 
    • Certain genetic disorders 
    • A history of Paget disease (a problem with how bones form)
  • There isn't a known way to stop bone cancer. To stop many kinds of illness, it helps to: 

    • Have a low-fat diet (eating plan) 
    • Eat fruit and vegetables 
    • Get exercise as often as you can
  • How we care for bone cancer depends on many factors: 

    • Type of cancer
    • Size of the cancer
    • Where the cancer is located in the body 
    • Stage of cancer 

    Your doctor will work with you to find the right care plan for you. Some examples of treatment include:

    • Surgery to remove cancer 
    • Chemotherapy (medication to make the cancer smaller or to kill cancer cells)
    • Radiation (using X-rays to kill cancer cells)
    • Cryosurgery (using cold temperatures to freeze or kill cancer cells) 
    • Targeted therapy (using drugs to stop cancer cells from growing and spreading)