Causes of Bone Cancer

The exact causes of bone cancer are yet to be identified. Bone cancer is termed as the malignancy in bone.

Cancer that originates in the bone is termed as primary bone cancer. This type of cancer is very rare.

Children are affected mostly by this type rather than adults.

More often, cancer cells spread metastasize to the bones from other parts of the body such as the breasts, lungs, and prostate. This type of bone cancer is termed as secondary or metastatic bone cancer.

The most common forms of Primary bone cancer are Osteosarcoma, which occurs primarily in growing bone tissue, Ewing’s sarcoma, which arises primarily in immature tissue in bone marrow and Chondrosarcoma, which occurs in cartilage.

The first two forms occur most often in children, adolescents and young adults, ages 10 to 25 and the last Chondrosarcoma is more common in adults. Though the exact causes of bone cancer are not known few risk factors are been identified which prove to be responsible to develop the disease

Bone Tumors in majority are classified into two main types, the Primary tumors and Secondary tumors.

Primary Bone Tumors

Primary bone tumors are rare. It is said that less than 1% of all malignant tumors are the primary bone tumors and on the other hand they are most common in young men. The four most common types of primary bone tumors are:

  • Osteosarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Osteoclastoma
  • Fibrosarcoma

Secondary or Metastatic Tumors

Secondary or Metastatic tumors can be further subdivided into:

Tumors resulting from contiguous spread of adjacent soft tissue neoplasm’s and tumors representing malignant transformation of the pre-existing benign lesions.

The most common tumors which account for bone metastases are breast cancerlung cancer, and prostate cancer. Secondary or Metastatic tumors more frequently involve the axial skeleton than the appendicular skeleton.

Primary Causes of Bone Cancer

The exact causes of bone cancer primary are not known but the causes of bone cancer secondary are specific. As mentioned most of the time rather than starting in bones (primary bone tumor), the cancer cells spread or metastasize to the bones from other areas affected by other types of cancer in the body.

This means that the secondary or metastatic bone cancer is the most common. In this type the cancer originates in a different place but later migrates to the bones. For example, lung cancer commonly spreads from the lungs to the bones.

Although the exact causes of bone cancer are not known the primary bone cancer is the rare type occurring in children. Fortunately it is the uncommon type of bone cancer.

One of the causes of bone cancer may also be in some cases the hereditary component. A condition in adults with Paget’s disease of bone, which involves abnormal development of new bone cells, may also hype the risk of osteosarcoma bone cancer.