Osteosarcoma (also called osteogenic sarcoma)
The most common type of primary bone cancer is osteosarcoma. It is most often diagnosed in teenagers and young adults but can occur at any age. Osteosarcomas can grow anywhere in the skeleton. But the most common sites are the
* Lower thigh (femur)
* Upper shin bone (tibia)
* Upper arm (humerus)
* Lower shin bone
Ewing's sarcoma is named after the surgeon who first described it. Again, this type of bone cancer is more common in young people than adults. Any bone can be affected, but the pelvis, thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) are the most common places for it to occur. Like osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma is slightly more common in males than females. It is also possible to get a Ewing’s sarcoma in the soft tissues of the body. This is known as extraosseous Ewing’s sarcoma.
Spindle cell sarcoma
There are four types of spindle cell sarcoma: malignant fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, and undifferentiated sarcoma of the bone.
* Malignant fibrous histiocytoma This is a very rare type of bone cancer that occurs in middle-aged adults. It is usually found in the arms or legs, especially around the knee joint.
* Fibrosarcoma This type of bone cancer, which again is very rare, is also most often found in adults, particularly during middle age. The most common site is the thigh bone (femur).
* Leiomyosarcoma Leiomyosarcoma of the bone is very rare. It can occur in people of any age, but is extremely rare in people under 20 years of age. It occurs slightly more often in men than women, and is more common in the long bones of the body, such as the thigh bone (femur), shin bones (tibia) and bone of the upper arm (humerus).
* Undifferentiated sarcoma of the bone These tumours are made up of primitive cells and it isn’t possible to tell what type of normal bone cell they develop from.
Chordomas are a very rare, slow growing type of bone cancer. They are most common in people between 40 and 60 years of age. They tend to occur more often in women than men. There are around 20 cases in the UK each year.
Chordomas develop from the notochord. The notochord forms the early spinal tissue in a foetus developing in the womb. After about six months, this tissue is replaced by the bone. But sometimes small areas of the notochord may remain.
About 2 out of 5 chordomas (35 to 40%) occur in the skull or the bones in the middle area of the face. The rest develop in the bones of the spine (the vertebrae). About half of these are in the lower part of the spine. Chordomas do not usually spread but if they do the most common places are the lungs, nearby lymph nodes, the liver, and skin.
This is a type of primary bone cancer most often diagnosed in adults over the age of 40. It is relatively rare - about as common as Ewing's sarcoma. The cancer produces cartilage (chondroid). This is the shiny, smooth substance that normally covers the ends of bones in the joints. Chondrosarcoma can grow inside a bone or on the bone surface. So islands of cartilage can be found inside the bone or on the surface in an area where it wouldn't normally grow. This bone tumour is usually slow growing. The most common sites for chondrosarcoma are the
* Thigh bone (femur)
* Upper arm (humerus)
* Shoulder blade (scapula)