Our bones form a protective structure that supports our body and allows us to move. There are more than 200 bones in the human body, all made up of different types of cells that build up, maintain or break down the bone to maintain its shape and strength. Inside some of our bones is a space filled with bone marrow – this is where blood cells are made. Cancers that arise in the cells produced in the bone marrow (like leukaemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma) are not considered bone cancers even though they do certainly affect the bone, and may require orthopaedic management.
Primary bone cancer is very rare. It happens when bone cells multiply, usually and rapidly, and begin to break down the bone. Bone cancer cells can also break away from the bone and travel to other bones, or other organs in the body when they can continue to grow as secondary tumours.