Bone cancer

What is bone cancer?

Primary bone cancer starts in bone cells. Learn about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risks in our guide to primary bone cancer.

Risks for bone cancer

Risks for bone cancer include radiation, bone disorders or conditions, and genetic conditions. Learn about bone cancer risk.

Symptoms of bone cancer

Symptoms of bone cancer include pain in a bone or joint and swelling or a lump that can be felt over a bone. Learn about the symptoms of bone cancer.

Diagnosis of bone cancer

Tests to diagnose bone cancer, such as x-rays, are done when symptoms are present or a doctor suspects bone cancer. Learn about diagnosing bone cancer.

Grading bone cancer

Grading is a way to classify bone cancer cells based on their appearance and behaviour when viewed under a microscope. To find out the grade of a tumour, a biopsy sample is examined under a microscope. A grade is given based on how the cancer cells look and behave compared with normal cells.

Stages of bone cancer

Staging is a way to describe or classify a cancer based on how much cancer there is in the body. The most common staging system for bone cancer is the TNM system.

If bone cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the bone to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural). Metastases are also called secondary tumours.

Prognosis and survival for bone cancer

People with bone cancer may have questions about their prognosis and survival. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with a person’s medical history, type of cancer, stage, characteristics of the cancer, treatments chosen and response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Treatments for bone cancer

Treatments for bone cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Learn about treatment plans and options for bone cancer.

Supportive care for bone cancer

Supportive care helps people meet the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual challenges of bone cancer. It is an important part of cancer care. There are many programs and services available to help meet the needs and improve the quality of life of people living with cancer and their loved ones.

Research in bone cancer

Researchers and healthcare professionals take the knowledge gained from research studies and use it to develop better practices that will help detect and treat bone cancer as well as improve the quality of life of people with bone cancer.

Bone cancer statistics

Primary bone cancer (cancer that starts in the bone) is rare. Learn about incidence and mortality statistics for bone cancer in Canada.