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Bone Cancer - Types of Bone Cancer

Bone cancer types of cancer are a subcategory of cancers which afflict the bones. There can be two ways in which cancerous cells may affect the bones. They are called primary and secondary bone cancer respectively. The primary type of bone cancer is bone cancer type of cancer which arises from the cells of the bone itself. In secondary bone cancer, cancer cells from another part of the body, like the liver or the ovary, seed in the bone marrow and develop secondaries there. You will have to ascertain if the type of bone cancer is primary or secondary because treatment is directed at the focus of the cancer cells in most cases.

The different bone cancer types of secondary cancer that one may find is usually from the cancerous cells in the breast, prostate, lung, kidney or thyroid. This is by far the commonest type of bone cancer. It is caused by metastases when the cancer cells at the original site of cancer break away and seed in the bone marrow. They get to the bone marrow through the blood stream. The metastatic cells produce secondaries in the bone and make the bones brittle. This make the bones prone to fractures. Secondary foci may also affect the capacity of the bone marrow to produce the blood cells. The result is usually anemia, an increased susceptibility to infections and a bleeding tendency.

Primary bone cancer types of cancer are of different varieties. The varieties commonly seen include osteosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, chondrosarcoma and Spindle cell sarcoma. These varieties are based on the type of cell affected and the nature of the tumor. The osteosarcoma is by far the commonest primary bone cancer. This tumor has a predilection for younger ages and is common in children and teenagers. The sites where osteosarcomas are commonly found are the lower thigh, upper shin bone, upper arm and lower shin bone in decreasing order of frequency.

Ewing's sarcoma is another type of bone cancer, type of cancer being primary. This sarcoma arises from the soft tissues within the bone. The soft tissue generally refers to the connective tissue within the bone. This cancer is named after the surgeon who first described it. The cancer is common in teenagers. The usual sites for this cancer are the pelvic, thigh or shin bones. Contrast this cancer to the chondrosarcoma which is common in middle age. This type of cancer affects the catilage producing cells in the bone. It is a relatively slow growing cancer and is usually seen is the pelvis, thigh bone, upper arm, shoulder blade or ribs.

The last type of bone cancer type of cancer is spindle cell sarcoma. These cancers are more differentiated types of osteosarcoma and can be considered as the adult versions of osteosarcomas. There are 4 types of spindle cell sarcoma: undifferentiated sarcoma of bone, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma and leiomyosarcoma.Of these the undifferentiated sarcoma of bone does not have any special cell lineage and this undifferentiation makes it difficult to predict what type of cancer cells will originate from it.

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