Bone Cancer

Note: The information on cancer types on the ACRF website is not designed to provide medical or professional advice and is for information only. If you have any health problems or questions please consult your doctor.

  • What is Bone Cancer?

    Bone Cancer begins when bone cells multiply, usually and rapidly, and begin to break down the bone. Bone Cancer cells can also break away from the bone and travel to other bones, or other organs in the body when they can continue to grow as secondary tumours.

    Primary Bone Cancer is very rare. More often, people with cancer in their bones have a secondary cancer from somewhere else in the body. When the secondary cancer starts to grow within the bone, it still represents the original cell type (ie. a breast cancer cell, or a lung cancer cell for example), and is best treated as such.

    While any cancer type can spread to the bone, the most common are breast, lung, kidney, thyroid, and prostate. Bone metastases most often arise in the hip, thighbone, shoulder, and spine.

    There are many types of Bone Cancer, the most common being:

  • Types of Bone Cancer

    There are many types of Bone Cancer, the most common being:

  • Cancers of the bone marrow

    Inside some of our bones is a space filled with bone marrow – this is where blood cells are made. Cancers that arise in the cells produced in the bone marrow (like leukaemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma) are not considered bone cancers even though they do certainly affect the bone, and may require orthopaedic management.

Bone cancer statistics

  • 298

    individuals are estimated to have been diagnosed with bone cancer in 2022

  • 42.6

    years is the median age at diagnosis

  • 69.7%

    is the relative five-year survival rate for bone cancer in 2018

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Cancer in Australia 2017, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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