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What are the different types of bone cancer?

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Quick Answer

Different types of bone cancer are osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma and tumors called Ewing sarcomas, according to the National Cancer Institute. Osteosarcoma develops when the cancer attacks the osteoid tissue in the bone, says the National Cancer Institute. This is the hard tissue that makes up the bone.

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Osteosarcoma is most often found in the upper arm and the knee, says the National Cancer Institute. Chondrosarcoma arises from the cartilage that cushions the ends of the joints and keeps them from rubbing together. This type of bone cancer is most often found in the upper leg, the shoulder and the pelvis. Sometimes a chondrosarcoma has bits of malignant bone cells and is reclassified as an osteosarcoma.

Ewing sarcomas can also be found in soft tissues, says the National Cancer Institute. Experts believe they come from aspects of primitive nerve tissue in the bones. Ewing sarcomas most likely arise in the pelvis, the long bones of the arms and legs and the backbone.

Other types of malignancies that are considered bone cancer actually begin in the bone marrow, according to the American Cancer Society. These types of cancers are known as multiple myelomas. Other cancers, such as malignant fibrous histiocytoma and fibrosarcoma usually start in the soft tissue and spread to the bones.

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