Bone Cancer

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Understanding Cancer: Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, Pictures

What is the prognosis for bone cancer? What is the five-year survival rate for bone cancer?

The prognosis, or outlook, for survival for bone cancer patients depends upon the particular type of cancer and the extent to which it has spread. The overall five-year survival rate for all bone cancers in adults and children is about 70%. Chondrosarcomas in adults have an overall five-year survival rate of about 80%.

The five-year survival rate specifically for localized osteosarcomas is about 60%-80%. If the cancer has spread beyond bone, the survival rate is about 15%-30%. Osteosarcomas tend to have a more favorable prognosis if they are located in an arm or leg, respond well to chemotherapy, and are generally completely removed at surgery. Younger patients and females also tend to have a more favorable prognosis than males or older patients.

Ewing sarcomas have a five-year survival rate of about 70% when they are found in a localized stage. If they have spread outside of the bone, the survival rate drops to 15%-30%. Factors that are associated with a more favorable prognosis for Ewing sarcomas include smaller tumor size, age less than 10 years, having the cancer in an arm or leg (instead of in the pelvis or chest wall), and having a good response to chemotherapy drugs.

Is it possible to prevent bone cancer?

Since the exact cause of bone cancer is poorly understood, there are no lifestyle changes or habits that can prevent these uncommon cancers.

REFERENCES:

"Bone Cancer." American Cancer Society.

"Bone Cancer." National Cancer Institute.

Lin, P.P., and S. Patel. "Osteosarcoma." MD Anderson Cancer Care Series. Springer. 2013.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2015

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