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difference between
A primary bone cancer is one that starts
in the bones. The cancer cells are bone
cells that have become cancerous. All
the information in this section is about
primary bone cancer.
A secondary cancer in the bones has
spread from somewhere else in the
body. The cancer cells are like the cells
of the original tumour. So if you have
had breast cancer and it spreads to the
bones, the cancer cells in the bones will
actually be breast cancer cells
Osteosarcoma
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)
Shin bone (tibia)
Upper arm (humerus)
Ewings Sarcoma
This is named after the surgeon who
first described it. This bone cancer is
also most often diagnosed in teenagers.

Ewing's sarcoma most often starts in
the pelvis (hips), thigh (femur) or shin
(tibia) bones.

It is also possible to get a Ewing's
tumour in the soft tissues of the body.
Soft connective tissue tumours are
called soft tissue sarcomas.

Chondrosarcoma
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.
Chrondrosarcoma is a cancer of cartilage cells. The cancer
produces cartilage (chondroid) which makes abnormal bone or
abnormal cartilage growth.
Cartilage is the shiny, smooth substance that normally covers the
ends of bones in the joints. It provides support for the joint and
allows bones to move smoothly over one another.
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;
Pelvis (hips)
Thigh bone (femur)
Upper arm (humerus)
Shoulder blade (scapula)
Ribs
Spindle Cell Sarcoma
Spindle cell sarcomas are very similar
to osteosarcomas but do not produce
a bony substance called osteoid
(whereas osteosarcomas do). They
tend to occur in adults over the age of
40. There are several types of spindle
cell sarcoma including;
Undifferentiated sarcoma of bone
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
Fibrosarcoma
Leiomyosarcoma
Undifferentiated sarcoma
cells are not specialised. They are quite
primitive (immature) and it isn't possible to tell
what type of normal cells they started from
within the bones. When the cells are more
specialised in spindle cell sarcoma, your
specialist will classify it as histiocytoma,
fibrosarcoma or leiomyosarcoma, according to
the appearance of the cells under a
microscope.
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
is a very rare type
of spindle cell
sarcoma that tends
to be found in
middle aged adults.
The arms and legs
are the most
common sites.
Fibrosarcoma
is also very rare
and most often
diagnosed in middle
aged adults. The
most common site
for fibrosarcoma is
the thigh bone
(femur).
Leiomyosarcoma
obone
is
extremely
rare and
very little is
known
about it.
Chondromas
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