A rare kind of cancer that starts in the bones is called primary bone cancer, often known as bone sarcomas. Although it can start in any bone in the body, the long bones that comprise the arms and legs are the most frequently affected. It is significantly more common in men and most commonly occurs in teenagers and young adults. It is most often found in teenagers and young adults, and is slightly more common in men.

Different kinds of bone cancer exist. The most typical kinds consist of:

  • Osteosarcoma (the most common; arises from osteoblasts, cells that create bones)
  • Ewing's Sarcoma (develops from mesenchymal stem cell)
  • Chondrosarcoma (forms from chondrocytes, which are cells that make cartilage)
  • Spindle cell sarcoma: a form of cancerous connective tissue characterized by spindle-shaped cells
  • Chordoma: a condition that affects the base and spine of the skull
  • Metastatic bone cancer, or cancer that has migrated to the bone from another organ, is more common.

More commonly we encounter metastatic bone cancer, which is a cancer of other organs that has spread to the bone

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Q. Is there a risk factor for bone sarcomas?

The majority of patients who have bone sarcomas do not have a risk factor.

Q. Are bone sarcomas capable of spreading?

Primary bone sarcomas most frequently spread to the lung and bone. Your physician would recommend screening for these locations before starting bone sarcoma treatment.

Q. How is the diagnosis made?

For soft tissue sarcomas to be effectively managed, an accurate diagnosis is essential. The doctor can advise a biopsy to take a sample of tissue from the tumor for analysis in a lab. Recurrence risk is decreased and the likelihood of a proper diagnosis and course of therapy is increased when evaluation takes place in a cancer center with a large patient base for sarcoma and a dedicated sarcoma management team.

Q. A mishandled biopsy could lead to the spread of cancer!

Following a confirmed cancer diagnosis, your doctor may order additional tests to rule out the disease's spread. These tests may include a chest CT scan, PET scan, ultrasonography of the draining glands, etc.

Q. Do bone sarcomas have any risk factor?

Most of the patients who develop bone sarcomas DO NOT HAVE ANY RISK FACTOR.

Q. Can bone sarcomas spread?

Lungs and Bone are the two most common sites of spread for Primary bone sarcomas. Your doctor would advice screening of these sites before commencing treatment of bone sarcomas.

Q. How is it diagnosed?

Accurate diagnosis is the key in the management of soft tissue sarcomas. Doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the tumour for laboratory testing.
Evaluation at a cancer centre that treats large number of sarcoma patients and has a specialized sarcoma management team improves chances of correct diagnosis and treatment and reduces the risks for relapse.
A wrong biopsy may cause cancer to spread!
Once diagnosis of a cancer is confirmed, your doctor will ask for some further investigations to rule out the spread of disease which can include a PET scan, CT scan of chest and ultrasonography of draining glands etc.


You might hear about many treatment options from your doctor. But knowing enough about them will enable you to make the best choice!


The primary care for bone sarcomas is surgery. The location of the sarcoma in the body determines the type of surgery. There are two main types:

Limb-sparing surgery / Surgery to save a limb (removal of the cancer and surrounding tissue; maintains maximum limb function)
Amputation: the amputation of a limb, whole or in part Re-implantation and recycling of tumor bone are common practices nowadays.


Your doctor may tell you different treatment options. However, having appropriate knowledge about them will help you make the right decision!


  • Forms the mainstay of treatment of Bone Sarcomas
  • Type of surgery depends upon the location of sarcoma in the body
  • Two major types:
    • Limb-sparing surgery (removal of the tumour and surrounding tissue; allows to keep optimal use of the limb)
    • Amputation (removal of part or whole limb)
  • Nowadays recycling of tumour bone and re- implantation is used quite often


  • Uses anti-cancer (cytotoxic) medications to destroy cancer cells.
  • Required for some forms of bone sarcomas, such as Ewing's sarcoma and osteosarcoma
  • Chemotherapy is often administered in cycles of three to four, both before and after surgery.
  • Destroys cancer cells using anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs
  • Compulsory for certain types of bone sarcomas like Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s Sarcoma
  • Usually 3-4 cycles of chemotherapy are given before and after surgery


  • Destroys cancer cells by using high energy x-rays
  • Usually not very effective for primary bone sarcomas except Ewing’s Sarcoma
  • Can be given after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of cancer coming back


  • Uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells.
  • Usually ineffective in treating primary bone sarcomas, except for Ewing's sarcoma
  • It may be administered following surgery to eradicate any cancer cells that remain and lower the chance of cancer recurrence.
  • Outcome depends upon several factors like type of cancer, stage of disease, previous surgical treatment, adequacy of treatment and many more.
  • For Stage I/II bone sarcomas, 5 year survival of upto 70-75% can be expected.
  • For Stage IV disease, survival is better when the disease spread is limited to lungs (IVa) as compared to other body sites (IVb).

Treatment Result

  • The type of cancer, the stage of the disease, the effectiveness of prior surgical therapy, the sufficiency of the treatment, and many other factors all affect the outcome.
  • It is possible to predict a 70–75% 5-year survival rate for Stage I/II bone sarcomas.
  • When the disease spreads to the lungs (Stage IVa) as opposed to other body sites (Stage IVb), patients have a higher chance of survival.

Contact Eternal Orthopedics for the best orthopedics, spine and cancer care treatment in Gurgaon.