Bone Cancer (Sarcoma of Bone): Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2020

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with bone sarcoma each year. You will also 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 sarcoma is cancer that starts in the bone. Less than 0.2% of all cancers are primary bone sarcomas. However, it is much more common for bones to be the site of metastasis or spread from cancers that started in another place in the body. The statistics below are about primary bone sarcoma.

This year, an estimated 3,600 people of all ages (2,120 men and boys and 1,480 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with primary bone sarcoma. Approximately 400 if these cases will occur in people age 15 to 19.

It is estimated that 1,720 deaths (1,000 men and boys and 720 women and girls) from this disease will occur this year.

In adults, chondrosarcoma makes up more than 40% of primary bone sarcomas. The average age of diagnosis for this type of bone sarcoma is 51. The next most common type of bone sarcoma in adults is osteosarcoma (28%), followed by chordoma (10%), Ewing sarcoma (8%), and UPS/fibrosarcoma (4%). The remaining types of bone sarcoma are rare.

In teens and children, osteosarcoma (56%) and Ewing sarcoma (34%) are diagnosed far more often than chondrosarcoma (6%). Less than 5% of chondrosarcoma and chordoma cases occur in this age group.

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. Survival rates for bone sarcoma depend on many factors, including the type and stage of bone sarcoma that is diagnosed.

The 5-year survival rate of people with chordoma is 82%. If the cancer is diagnosed at the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 87%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 83%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 55%

There are multiple types of chondrosarcoma. Some are slow growing (low grade), while others are faster growing (high grade). The rates given here are the average for all types of chondrosarcoma. The 5-year survival rate of people with chondrosarcoma is 78%. If the cancer is diagnosed at the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 91%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 75%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 22%

The 5-year survival rate of people with Ewing sarcoma is 62%. If the cancer is diagnosed at the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 82%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 67%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 39%.

The 5-year survival rate of people with osteosarcoma is 60%. If the cancer is diagnosed at the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 77%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 64%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 27%.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with bone sarcoma are an estimate and can change significantly depending on several factors. Therefore, it is important to discuss this directly with your doctor. 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. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2020, and the ACS website (sources accessed January 2020).

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by bone sarcoma. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.