Understanding Bone Cancer Life Expectancy

Bone cancer is a rare form of cancer that occurs in very few people in the world. However, being cancer, it is no less dangerous and demands your attention. How long can you have bone cancer without knowing? What are the chances of survival? And is bone cancer even curable? We will seek to answer all of these questions in this article.

Bone Cancer Survival Rate

Before we get into the facts and figures, we have to tell you how to make sense of them. The first thing to understand is the concept of the survival rate itself. Persons with the same type and stage of cancer are compared to people in the general population to determine the relative survival rate.

For instance, if the relative 5-year survival rate for a particular type and stage of bone cancer is 80%, this indicates that individuals who have this form of cancer have, on average, approximately 80% of the same likelihood as individuals who do not have this form of cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed with the disease.

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The Facts and Figures

Now we come to the data. In order to offer survival statistics for various cancers, the American Cancer Society uses data obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, which is managed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The relative 5-year survival rates for various forms of bone cancer in the United States are recorded in the SEER database. These survival rates are determined by the extent to which the cancer has spread. On the other hand, the SEER database does not organize tumors according to MSTS or TNM stages (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, etc.). Instead, it classifies malignancies into the following stages: localized, regional, and distant:

  • Localized: If the cancer is thought to be localized, there are no indications that it has moved beyond the bone where it first appeared.
  • Regional: When cancer is said to be regional, it means that it has spread beyond the original bone into other bones or tissues in the area, or it has reached lymph nodes in the region.
  • Distant: The cancer has progressed to other sections of the body that are a considerable distance away from the original site, such as the lungs or the bones in other areas of the body.

Now that we know all of that, let us look at the bone cancer prognosis for a few different types of the disease.


Stage Survival rate
Localized 91%
Regional 75%
Distant 23%


Stage Survival rate
Localized 86%
Regional 85%
Distant 63%

Giant Cell Tumor

Stage Survival rate
Localized 87%
Regional 74%
Distant 42%

Because of the rarity of certain kinds of bone cancer, it might be challenging to determine precise patient survival rates. If you have a type of bone cancer that is not listed here and you would want to learn more about your prognosis you should speak with your healthcare provider to obtain this information.

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Do Not Take These Figures As Law

Everyone takes numbers with finality, but we are here to tell you to not do that in this case. Yes, the numbers we presented here reflect statistical data, but it comes with several riders. Here, we present a few factors that will show you that the data here is not indicative of how your situation will turn out:

  • These figures only pertain to the stage of the disease at the time it was first diagnosed with cancer. They are no longer valid if the cancer recurs, spreads, or grows after therapy has been administered.
  • These figures do not take into consideration everything that could possibly be relevant. The type of bone cancer and the extent to which the cancer has spread both play a role in how survival rates are categorized. However, the prognosis can also be influenced by a number of other aspects, including your age, the state of your health as a whole, the location of the cancer’s origin in the bone, and how well the cancer reacts to treatment.
  • The prognosis for people who are now being diagnosed with bone cancer may be more favorable than these data indicate. These results are based on persons who were diagnosed and treated at least 5 years ago, which is when these treatments were considered to be at their most effective.

We feel the need to state this again, but understand that survival rates are estimates and are typically based on the prior results of large numbers of people who have had a particular cancer; yet, they are unable to foretell what will happen in the case of any unique individual. These statistics can be confusing, and they may prompt you to think of additional questions. Have a discussion with your physician about how the information in these numbers might relate to your condition.

Is Bone Cancer Curable?

As everyone well knows by now, there are many kinds of cancer that are curable if detected early. Bone cancer works similarly. Even the final stages of bone cancer can be medically treated, though all the options at this stage will be quite aggressive.

The main thing that needs to be taken care of are the tumors. They need to be removed surgically. Before this, a chemo treatment is usually prescribed. What this does is shrink the tumor until it becomes of a manageable size. Once this happens, the tumor can be safely operated on.

For tumors that do not respond to this kind of treatment, the only other recourse is radiation therapy. While this is not a final solution, it does help the patient deal with the condition by reducing pain and improving quality of life.

However, keep in mind that stage 4 bone cancer is hard to treat, and it will respond to treatment only some of the time. However, that does not mean that it is incurable. With an early diagnosis, you may be able to be rid of this disease for good!

How Long Can You Live With Metastatic Bone Cancer?

The prognosis for a person who has bone cancer depends on a number of factors, such as the type of bone cancer, the location of the tumor, whether the cancer has already spread (metastasized), when it is first found, the person’s age and overall health, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. It’s not just a binary thing.

That being said, after being diagnosed with cancer, over seventy out of every one hundred people, or nearly 70 percent, live cancer-free for at least five years. People who have chondrosarcoma that begins in the arms or legs have a higher chance of surviving the disease compared to those who have the disease that begins in the vertebral or pelvic bones of their bodies.

Every case is going to be unique, but bone cancer patients have a good chance of pulling through and recovering. However, it is best to get yourself checked out and be sure that this disease is not stalking you and your loved ones. However, in the event that it cannot be treated and you want the best for your loved one in their final moments, you should consider a hospice service.

That is what we provide. At All American Hospice, we take care of all our residents around the clock and make sure that they lack for nothing. Thanks to our professional care, both your loved ones and you can live without stress knowing that their interests are well looked after. We have a lot of experience dealing with bone cancer patients, so in the event that you need our services, please don’t hesitate to call.

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