Although many people with bone cancers do not possess apparent risk factors, the chance of contracting the disease is increased by hereditary syndromes and defects in certain genes, according to the American Cancer Society. Risk factors present, though, do not mean a person contracts the disease.
The presence of certain diseases can also increase the risk of contracting bone cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. For example, people with Li--Fraumeni syndrome, Rothmund-Thomson syndrome and a rare eye cancer known as Retinoblastoma may be more at risk for developing bone cancer. Individuals with multiple exostoses, a syndrome that causes bumps on the bones, are also at risk for bone cancer. Patients who genetically inherit tuberous sclerosis, which causes defects in the genes, are at risk for bone cancer as are individuals with Paget disease, which is a pre-cancerous bone condition.
Patients who have been exposed to ionizing radiation are at risk for bone cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Although typical X-rays do not pose a threat in most cases, patients undergoing radiation therapy to treat other types of cancer may develop cancer within one of the bones near the treatment area. Exposure to radioactive materials, such as strontium and radium, may also put people at risk for bone cancer.