It's not clear what causes most bone cancers. Doctors know bone cancer begins as an error in a cell's DNA. The error tells the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These cells go on living, rather than dying at a set time. The accumulating mutated cells form a mass (tumor) that can invade nearby structures or spread to other areas of the body.
Types of bone cancer
Bone cancers are broken down into separate types based on the type of cell where the cancer began. The most common types of bone cancer include:
Sep. 12, 2013
- Osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma begins in the bone cells. Osteosarcoma occurs most often in children and young adults.
- Chondrosarcoma. Chondrosarcoma begins in cartilage cells that are commonly found on the ends of bones. Chondrosarcoma most commonly affects older adults.
- Ewing sarcoma.It's not clear where in bone Ewing's sarcoma begins. It's believed that Ewing's sarcoma may begin in nerve tissue within the bone. Ewing's sarcoma occurs most often in children and young adults.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Bone cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Bone cancer: Questions and answers. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/bone. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 7, 2013.
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