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Find out about screening for bone cancer, and who might have it. 

There is no national screening programme because:

  • this condition is very rare, so many people would have unnecessary tests
  • the benefits don't outweigh the costs

What screening is

Screening means testing people for early stages of an illness before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • must be reliable at picking up the illness
  • must be simple and quick
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part

Screening for people at high risk

It is helpful to screen people who are at higher risk of primary bone cancer. This includes people with particular bone diseases or genetic conditions that increases the risk of bone cancer. Doctors are aware of these conditions and people with bone conditions are likely to have regular x-rays.

People with a genetic condition called Li Fraumeni syndrome are regularly screened for cancers.

Talk to your GP if you think you are at high risk of bone cancer.
Last reviewed: 
17 Dec 2014
  • Bone sarcomas: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up

    The ESMO/European Sarcoma Network Working Group, 2011

    Annals of Oncology, Volume 25, Supplement 3

  • Principles and practice of oncology (10th edition)
    VT De Vita, S Hellman and SA Rosenberg
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2011

Information and help

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