A mass of unusual cells growing in a bone. Most bone tumors are not cancerous.
Causes of bone tumors include abnormal healing from an injury, hereditary diseases, and radiation therapy. They can also be caused by bone cancer or another cancer that has spread to the bones from other parts of the body.
A bone tumor can cause a painless lump. Some people have a dull, aching ache. In some cases, a minor injury causes a fracture near the tumor.
Treatments include surgery and radiation therapy. Some non-cancerous tumors go away without treatment.


The symptoms of bone cancer are:
pain and swelling in the affected bones
palpable hard mass in the long bones of the limbs
feeling tired or fatigued

Less common symptoms include:
easily broken bones
weight loss


The cause of bone cancer is not precisely known, but certain factors can contribute to or increase a person’s chances of forming abnormal bone growths. These include:

Abnormal cell growth
Healthy cells are continually dividing and replacing older cells. After completing this process, they die. The abnormal cells, however, continue to live. They begin to form masses of tissue which turn into tumors.
Radiation therapy, which kills dangerous cancer cells, can be used to treat bone cancer. However, osteosarcoma can form in some people who receive the treatment. The use of high doses of radiation may be a factor in this development.


Primary bone cancers are the most serious of all bone cancers. They form directly in the bones or surrounding tissue, such as cartilage.
Cancer can also spread, or metastasize, from another part of your body to your bones. This is known as secondary bone cancer, and this type is more common than primary bone cancer.
Common types of primary bone cancers include:
Multiple myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma is the most common type of bone cancer. It occurs when cancer cells grow in the bone marrow and cause tumors in various bones. MM typically affects older people.
Among bone cancers, MM has one of the best prognoses and many people with it do not need treatment.
Osteosarcoma, or osteogenic sarcoma, usually affects children and adolescents, but it can also occur in adults. It tends to originate at the end of the long bones of the arms and legs.
Osteosarcoma can also start in the hips, shoulders, or other places. It affects the hard tissues that supply the outer layer of your bones.
ChondrosarcomaChondrosarcoma can occur in the pelvis, thighs and shoulders of older people.
It forms in the subchondral tissue, which is the hard connective tissue between your bones. It is the second most common primary cancer affecting the bones.
Ewing’s sarcoma
Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare cancer that begins either in the soft tissues surrounding the bones or directly in the bones of children and young adults.


Treatment depends on:
the stage of cancer
your age
your general health
the size and location of the tumor

Medicines that treat bone cancer include:
chemotherapy drugs for multiple myeloma
pain relievers to relieve inflammation and discomfort
bisphosphonates to help prevent bone loss and protect bone structure
cytotoxic drugs to prohibit or stop the growth of cancer cells
Your doctor may recommend radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.
Your doctor can surgically remove tumors or affected tissue. Surgery to remove and replace damaged bone is an option to stop cancers that spread quickly. In the event of significant bone damage to the arms or legs, amputation may be necessary.
Alternative therapy
Your doctor may add alternative therapies that include herbal treatments to your care plan. However, this should be done with special care as some alternative treatments can interfere with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.


Doctors classify primary bone cancer in stages. These different stages describe where the cancer is, what it does and how much it has affected other parts of the body.
Stage 1 bone cancer has not spread from the bone.
Stage 2 bone cancer has not spread, but can become invasive, posing a threat to other tissues.
Stage 3 bone cancer has spread to one or more areas of the bone and is invasive.
Stage 4 bone cancer has spread to the tissues around the bone and to other organs such as the lungs or the brain.

Your doctor may use the following methods to determine the stage of bone cancer:
a biopsy, which analyzes a small sample of tissue to diagnose cancer
a bone scan, which checks the condition of the bones
a blood test
imaging tests that include x-rays, as well as MRIs and CT scans, to get in-depth views of bone structure

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms that worry you.

Risk factor

Risk factors for a certain type of cancer can include smoking, a poor diet, a family history, or many other things. The exact cause of a person’s cancer may not be known. But risk factors can make a person more likely to develop cancer.

What you need to know about the risk factors for cancer:
Risk factors can increase a person’s risk, but they don’t necessarily cause illness.
Some people with risk factors never get cancer. Other people can develop cancer and have few or no risk factors.
Some risk factors are well known. But research is being done on the risk factors for many types of cancer.
Some risk factors, such as family history, may not be under your control. But others can be things you can change.

Health condition

Your doctor can surgically remove tumors or affected tissue. Surgery to remove and replace damaged bone is an option to stop cancers that spread quickly. In the event of significant bone damage to the arms or legs, amputation may be necessary.


The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people with bone cancer (reported by stage) who are likely to survive at least 5 years after diagnosis. For example, a person with chondrosarcoma that has not spread has a 91% chance of surviving for 5 years after diagnosis.