Noteworthy Numbers

TON - JUNE 2012 VOL 5, NO 5 published on June 28, 2012

Although an uncommon cancer, sarcoma, which can arise in various connective tissues and therefore has many subtypes, is a frightening disease for both the young and old. For example, some types of bone cancer occur primarily in children, while others affect mostly adults. As we recognize Sarcoma Awareness Week this month, let’s delve into some statistics surrounding this multifaceted cancer.

Primary bone cancer is rare and accounts for less than 0.2% of all cancers.

In 2012, an estimated 2890 people will be diagnosed with new cases of primary bone cancer.

Approximately 1410 deaths will occur in 2012 from this disease.

Different types of bone cancer are more likely to occur in certain populations:

  • Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFTs) appears most often in children and adolescents under 19 years of age
    • These tumors are more prevalent in boys than in girls
    • In North America each year, about 225 children and teens are diagnosed with Ewing tumors
    • Most of the patients are white, either non- Hispanic or Hispanic; this disease is very rare among African Americans; it also seldom occurs in other racial groups
  • Osteosarcoma generally occurs between ages 10 and 19 years; however, people over age 40 who have other conditions, such as Paget disease, are at increased risk of developing this cancer
    • About 800 new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed each year in the United States, with 400 of these developing in children and teens
    • About 10% of all osteosarcomas occur in people older than age 60 years • The risk for chondro - sarcoma increases with advancing age
    • Patients aged 40 and older make up 70% of chondrosarcoma cases
    • The average age at diagnosis is 51 years; most cases are diagnosed at an early stage and are low grade

For all cases of bone cancer combined (in both adults and children), the 5-year relative survival is about 70%.

Furthermore, with modern surgical techniques, 9 out of 10 people who have bone cancer in an arm or leg may not need amputation.


Last modified: May 21, 2015