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Norris Cotton Cancer Center
In This Section

Bone Cancers and Other Skeletal Tumors

Our team treats many types of bone tumors, benign and malignant, as well as tumor-like lesions.

Most patients referred to us have had abnormal findings on X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Our goal is to distinguish the findings which are worrisome for cancer from those that are not worrisome. Fortunately, most lesions which are referred to our program are benign. We classify bone lesions as follows:

Malignant Bone Tumors

  • Primary Bone Cancers: These are malignant tumors (cancers) that arise in the bone and include osteosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma. Primary bone cancers are more common in children.
  • Metastatic Bone Cancers: Malignant tumors that arise outside the bones but travel to and implant within the bones. The most common metastatic bone cancers to affect the skeleton are lung cancer, kidney (renal) cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and prostate cancer. Metastatic bone cancers are more common in adults.

Benign Bone Tumors

These are tumors that arise within the bone and do not normally metastasize. The most common benign bone tumors are:

  • Aneurysmal bone cyst
  • Enchondroma
  • Giant cell tumor
  • Non-ossifying fibroma

Tumor-like Lesions

These are bone abnormalities that are mistaken for tumors. These lesions usually do not require treatment.