Survival statistics for bone cancer
Survival statistics for bone cancer. There is information about
Statistics and outlook for bone cancer
Outlook means your chances of getting better. Your doctor may call this your prognosis. This page presents detailed information about the likely outcome of different types of bone cancer. The statistics we use are taken from a variety of sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check every section of this website. They are intended as a general guide only.
We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wishes to read this type of information. If you think you would like to have this information, it is available further down this page.
How reliable are cancer statistics?
No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people, for example. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.
You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating bone cancer section.
This page has quite detailed information about the survival rates for different stages of bone cancer. People ask us for this information but not everyone diagnosed with cancer wants to read it. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can always come back to it later.
The statistics here are intended as a general guide and can't tell you what is likely to happen in your individual case.
Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, you may find it helpful to go to our section about different types of cancer statistics before you read the information below.
Remember – statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot predict exactly what will happen to you. No two patients are exactly alike and how well treatment works also varies from one person to another. You should feel free to ask your doctor about your prognosis, but not even your doctor can tell you for sure what will happen.
Please note – No national UK statistics are available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have had. The statistics we present here are European and American statistics. They are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of this website. We give statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.
You may hear doctors use the term 5 year survival. This does not mean you will only live 5 years. It relates to the number of people who are alive 5 years after diagnosis. Doctors follow what happens to people for at least 5 years after treatment in any research study. This is because there is a chance of the cancer coming back more than 5 years after treatment. Doctors do not like to say these people are cured because there is that small chance of the cancer coming back (recurrence). So they use the term 5 year survival instead.
The treatment of bone cancer is often very successful, particularly if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. Overall, in England and Wales almost 60 out of every 100 people (60%) will survive for 5 years or more after their primary bone cancer is diagnosed.
Remember – this is primary bone cancers not cancer that has spread to the bone from a cancer somewhere else in the body. If you are looking for information about secondary bone cancer, you will need to go to the specific cancers list. On the list find the primary cancer type that you have, for example, breast cancer or prostate cancer.
It is very difficult to predict who will do well and who will not with primary bone cancer. The outcome of the cancer and treatment depends on a lot of different factors. There are some indicators of how well you are likely to do. The most important of these are
If your cancer is low grade, it is generally more likely to be cured.
If the cancer is still inside the bone (localised) when it is diagnosed, it is more likely to be cured than if it has already spread outside the bone or to another part of the body.
Some bone cancers that have spread can respond well to treatment, particularly Ewing's sarcoma. Also patients with osteosarcoma who have a small amount cancer that has spread to the lung may be cured. A small number of people with Ewing's sarcoma that has spread to the lungs will be cured. But for people with other types of bone cancer, treatment in this situation aims to control the cancer for some time rather than get rid of it altogether.
Generally speaking, with osteosarcoma you are more likely to be cured if
- The level of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in your blood is not much higher than normal
- You are under 40
- Your cancer responds well to chemotherapy
Low grade osteosarcomas are not very common. They most commonly occur in the bones of the face and jaw or in the legs. Over 90 out of every 100 people (90%) with this type of tumour will survive for 5 years or more after their diagnosis.
For high grade osteosarcomas that is localised and has not spread elsewhere in the body, the 5 year survival rate is around 60%. That means that around 60 out of every 100 people (60%) with this type of cancer will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. Many of these people will be cured. In people whose chemotherapy works very well survival may be more than 70%.
In people whose osteosarcoma has spread at the time of diagnosis the survival is unfortunately lower. Around 25 out of every 100 people (25%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis. More than 40 out of every 100 people (40%) who have all the tumours (including secondary cancers) completely removed by surgery will survive for 5 years or more.
For Ewing's sarcoma you are more likely to be cured if
- You are young
- You have a small tumour
- You do not have general symptoms, such as a high temperature, when you are diagnosed
- Your cancer responds well to chemotherapy
For Ewing's sarcoma that is localised and hasn't spread elsewhere in the body, about 70 out of every 100 people (70%) will survive for 5 years or more after their diagnosis. Again, many of these people will be cured.
If Ewing's sarcoma has only spread to the lungs, around 30 out of every 100 people (30%) will survive for 5 years or more after their diagnosis. If Ewing's sarcoma has spread to other bones or the bone marrow, unfortunately, the 5 year survival is lower, and about 20 out of 100 people (20%) will survive for 5 years or more after their diagnosis.
The grade of the cancer is the most important factor for chondrosarcoma. Chondrosarcoma is more likely to be curable if it is low grade. Overall, at least 80 out of every 100 people (80%) will survive for 10 years or more after treatment. But if the cancer is high grade the outlook is poorer and about 25 out of every 100 people (25%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. You and your cancer are unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people for example. You cannot tell from statistics what type of treatments people may have had. Or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will determine your treatment and prognosis.
If you would like to read more about survival rates and other statistics for bone cancer, go to our CancerStats page:
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