Survival depends on different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live.
Doctors usually work out the outlook for a certain disease by looking at large groups of people. Because this cancer is less common, survival is harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.
Some of the statistics have to be based on a small number of people. Remember, they can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.
Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).
Primary and secondary bone cancer
Primary bone cancer starts in the cells of the bones. The cancer cells are bone cells that have become cancerous.
Most people who have cancer cells in their bones don't have primary bone cancer. They have cancer cells that have spread into the bone from a cancer elsewhere in the body. This is called secondary or metastatic bone cancer. So, for example, in breast cancer that has spread to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones will be breast cancer cells.
All types of primary bone cancer
Generally, for people with primary bone cancer in England:
- almost 75 out of 100 people (almost 75%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more
- more than 50 out of 100 people (more than 50%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more
These statistics are for people diagnosed with primary bone cancer in England between 1999 and 2013, with follow-up between 2009 and 2013.
Net survival and the probability of cancer death from rare cancers.
P Muller and others
Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.
Survival for different types of primary bone cancer
The statistics below are for bone cancers diagnosed in England between 1985 and 2004. They come from the National Cancer Intelligence Network. This is the most recent data we have. As these statistics are over 15 years old, survival is likely to have improved in line with the trend for all cancers combined in England.
We have information about:
- Ewing sarcoma
Please remember that these statistics are for everybody diagnosed with each type of cancer. The figures do not take into account other factors that affect your survival, such as the stage and grade of your cancer, your age, where the cancer is, or how well chemotherapy works. Your doctor can tell you more about your own outlook.
Around 40 out of 100 people (around 40%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Almost 70 out of 100 people (almost 70%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
Survival is better for people with chondrosarcoma starting in the arms or legs than for those with chondrosarcoma in the spine (vertebral) and hip (pelvic) bones.
Around 50 out of 100 people (around 50%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Survival is better for people with Ewing sarcoma starting in the arms or legs than for those with Ewing sarcoma in the main part of the body.
Around 55 out of 100 people (around 55%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Bone Sarcoma Incidence and Survival: Tumours Diagnosed Between 1985 and 2009
National Cancer Intelligence Network, October 2012
These statistics are for relative survival. Relative survival compares the survival of individuals with cancer to those in the general population. This gives a more accurate picture of cancer survival than observed survival, which doesn’t account for background mortality.
What affects survival
Your outlook depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.
Survival is also affected by where the cancer is in your body.
If you have chemotherapy before surgery, the doctors will look at your tumour to see how well it has responded to chemotherapy. If you have a good response your outlook is better.
About these statistics
The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. Some people live much longer than 5 years.