The five-year relative survival rate for bone cancer in both children and adults is approximately 70 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. There are many types of bone cancer, but osteosarcoma is the most common, and it occurs most often between the ages of 10 and 30. However, most patients with bone cancer actually have another type of cancer that has spread to the bones after starting somewhere else.
Estimating how serious a case of cancer is should be based on an individual's prognosis, which is an estimate of how the disease may progress, says National Cancer Institute. Any prognosis is based on several factors such as age, health before the cancer, the type of cancer and where it's located, the cancer cell characteristics, the results of treatment, and the stage and grade of the cancer. A cancer's stage refers to its size and whether or not it has spread, while grade describes how abnormal the cancer cells appear.
The most common bone cancer in adults is chondrosarcoma, and the relative survival rate is about 80 percent, notes American Cancer Society. Relative survival rates measure how many patients are alive five years after being diagnosed, and they take into account the fact that some may die from other causes. Ongoing improvements in treatment methods mean that a current diagnosis may result in a more favorable outcome.