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Common Types of Bone Cancer

Osteosarcoma

This cancer, one of the primary and most common bone tumors, arises from osteoid tissue in the bone and is most often found in the knee and upper arm. It is most often found in young people (aged 10-30) but also can be exhibited in older people (aged 60-70.)

Chondrosarcoma

This type begins in cartilaginous tissue, which is found at the end of bones and lines the joints. These tumors are most often found in the pelvis, upper leg, and shoulder. Occasionally, chondrosarcoma will develop in the trachea, larynx, or chest wall. Sometimes a chondrosarcoma contains cancerous bone cells. In that case, doctors classify the tumor as an osteosarcoma.

Also, chondrosarcomas have different features, which can lead to a different prognosis:

  • Dedifferentiated Chondrosarcomas - These begin as typical chondrosarcomas but then some parts of the tumor change into cells like those of an osteosarcoma or fibrosarcoma.
  • Clear Cell Chondrosarcoma - This type grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Mesenchymal Chondrosarcomas - These can grow rapidly but are sensitive to treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.
  • The Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors (ESFTs) - These normally appear in the bone but can be found in soft tissue such as muscle, blood vessels and fibrous tissues. ESFTs occur most commonly along the backbone and pelvis and in the legs and arms.
  • Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma - This type often starts in "soft tissue" (connective tissue) rather than in bones. However, when it develops in bones, normally it affects the legs or arms and grows quickly while also spreading to other parts of the body, like the lungs and lymph nodes.
  • Giant Cell Tumor Of Bone - This cell tumor develops in both benign and malignant forms. The benign form is most common. Giant cell bone tumors typically affect the leg or arm bones of young and middle-aged adults.
  • Chordoma - This tumor normally occurs in the base of the skull and bones of the spine and grows slowly. While they do not normally spread to other parts of the body, they will come back in the same area if they are not removed completely.