Bone cancer, particularly primary bone cancer is a very rare condition, occurring mostly in young people. Osteosarcomas, a type of bone cancer is diagnosed mostly in teenagers or young adults, although it is rare before teenage but the risk increases after the age of 60. The main reason for this is that chances of being afflicted with Paget’s disease increase after the age of 60, and this disease increases the chances of bone cancer. Most people afflicted with the disease are over this age.
People who have relatives with some types of cancer are under greater risk of developing certain types of cancers. However, such generalisations may not always turn out to be turn. For example, osteosarcoma is supposed to develop in those people whose fathers suffered from prostate cancer.
- Injuries or shocks – If one develops bone cancer after getting an injury or enduring a shock, it is easy for them to be misled and think that incident was the cause behind the disease. There is no evidence to support this notion. The more likely reason can be that the bone which suffered was already too weak and the accident only proved to be the catalyst for speeding up the development of cancer. A swelling caused by an injury can also reveal an undergrowth of cancer cells which were not noticed yet.
- Genetic factors – A gene inherited from the parents resulting in what is known as Li-Fraumeni syndrome also results in bone cancer. Children with this gene fault have increased risk of many cancers that include bone cancer. People whose mothers were detected with breast cancer before the age of 45 are five times as likely to suffer from bone cancer.
- Other bone health conditions – Apart from Paget’s disease, which occurs mostly after the age of 60, other conditions such as benign bone tumour called osteochondroma, and a rare condition called Ollier’s disease make a person more susceptible to developing bone cancer.
- Ethnicity – Some types of bone cancers such as Ewing’s sarcoma are much more likely to develop in Caucasians than Blacks. This was the finding of a 30-year long research carried out in USA. There is no reason cited for this result.
- Birth defects – If you were born with a hernia, i.e. congenital umbilical hernia, the risk of developing Ewing’s sarcoma increase by three times. The weakness of the muscles around the belly button result in this disease, and the same factors that result in umbilical hernia also put the child at a greater risk of Ewing’s Sarcoma.