Bone Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with bone cancer each year. You will read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

As explained in the Introduction, primary bone cancer is cancer that starts in the bone. Less than 0.2% of all cancers are primary bone cancer. However, it is much more common for bones to be the site of metastasis or spread from other cancers. The statistics below are about primary bone cancer.

This year, an estimated 3,260 people of all ages (1,820 men and boys and 1,440 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with primary bone cancer.

It is estimated that 1,550 deaths (890 men and boys and 660 women and girls) from this disease will occur this year.

In adults, chondrosarcoma makes up more than 35% of primary bone cancers, followed by osteosarcoma (22%), chordoma (10%), Ewing sarcoma (8%), and UPS/fibrosarcoma (4%). The remaining types of bone cancer are rare. In teens and children, osteosarcoma (56%) and Ewing sarcoma (34%) are more common.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people diagnosed with bone cancer at an early stage is about 85%. Around 40% of bone cancer is diagnosed at an early stage.

The 5-year survival rate for adult bone cancer is 66%. Adults with chondrosarcoma have a 5-year survival rate of 80% compared to a 5-year survival rate of 54% for osteosarcoma.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with bone cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. People should talk with their doctor if they have questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2017: Special Section – Rare Cancers in Adults, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.