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Bone Cancer

Most commonly, bone tumors have spread or metastasized from another organ, such as the breasts, lungs or prostate. Cancer that arises in the bone – primary bone cancer – is rare.

Bone tumors may be benign or malignant. Benign bone tumors are more common, but both types may grow and compress healthy bone tissue and absorb or replace it with abnormal tissue. Benign tumors, however, don't spread and are rarely life threatening.

The most common type of bone cancer is osteosarcoma, which develops in new tissue in growing bones. Another type of cancer, chondrosarcoma, occurs in cartilage. Ewing's sarcoma begins in immature nerve tissue in bone marrow. Osteosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma tend to occur more frequently in children and teens, while chondrosarcoma occurs more often in adults.

Our Approach to Bone Cancer

UCSF's orthopedic cancer specialists have extensive experience in treating bone cancer while preserving as much bone and functionality as possible. They work with UCSF's expert physical therapists, pain medicine physicians, and orthotics and prosthetics specialists to provide personalized care of the highest quality.

Awards & recognition

  • Best in Northern California in cancer care

  • NIH-2x

    Designated comprehensive cancer center

  • usnews-orthopedics

    One of the nation’s best in orthopedics

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.