Bone cancers, like all cancers, develop when cells divide uncontrollably and spread. If you’re looking to understand where does bone cancer start and how fast does bone cancer spread, read on. We’ll cover this along with alternative treatment for bone cancer in our article.

Where Does Bone Cancer Start?

When answering what is bone cancer and where does bone cancer usually start, it’s good to begin with the skeletal system. The skeletal system consists of 206 bones and connective tissues. It’s the framework of our body that protects internal organs and attaches to muscles —so that our body can move freely. It’s also where bone cancer originates. 1, 2

Primary bone cancer forms in bone cells and makes up about 1% of cancer cases. There is also “secondary bone cancer” which refers to cancer that has started somewhere else in the body, and then spread to the bones. 2

Malignant bone tumors are identified by where they are located on the bone, the nearby bone tissue that is affected, and the types of cells that are forming in the tumor. 


When discussing where does bone cancer start, we usually begin with the most common prevalent form of primary bone cancer, otherwise known as osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma begins in the bone cells and tumor cells commonly develop in the arms, legs, and pelvis. 6


This bone cancer is the next most common form of bone cancer and begins in the cartilage cells. It can start anywhere in the body where there is cartilage. Most chondrosarcomas begin in the bones of the legs, pelvis, or arms. They can also start in the trachea, larynx, chest wall, shoulder blades, ribs, or skull. Left untreated, it can develop into metastatic bone disease and begin affecting other parts of the body. 6

Ewing tumor

As the third most common type of primary bone cancers, Ewing tumors (or Ewing sarcomas) develop in the pelvis, chest wall, and long bones of the arms and legs. 

How Fast Does it Spread?

Primary bone tumors are classified as either malignant, cancerous, or benign, noncancerous. Tumors are benign when they do not develop beyond their primary cancer site, while the malignant tumors are more at risk for spreading and growing faster. Once tumor cells spread to other parts of the body, the cancer becomes more difficult to treat. 

Knowing how fast does bone cancer spread depends on the type of bone cancer. 

Examples of Benign Bone Tumors

These tumors are composed of normal cells and will not occupy nearby organs and tissues. However, benign tumors can sometimes press on other organs and cause pain if they are not taken care of. 3 The following are examples of benign bone tumors:

  • osteoma
  • osteoid osteoma
  • osteochondroma
  • enchondroma
  • aneurysmal bone cyst
  • fibrous dysplasia of the bone

Examples of Malignant Bone Tumors

Malignant tumors can spread throughout the body through the lymph system and bloodstream. They typically grow faster than benign tumors. 3  The following are examples of malignant bone tumors:

  • osteosarcoma
  • chondrosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma
  • malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  • fibrosarcoma
  • chordoma
  • other sarcomas

Bone Cancer Stages

The bone cancer stages are a crucial component when answering the question of how fast does bone cancer spread. Bone cancer is staged 1-4 — the higher the stage, the faster and further the metastasis has spread. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the early signs of bone cancer, and whether you have developed bone metastases or primary bone tumors. 

Symptoms of Bone Cancer

Knowing what does bone cancer feel like can help you identify the symptoms. Metastatic bone cancer, like all cancers, is less likely to spread the sooner you get treatment.

But what are the symptoms of bone cancer? Symptoms to look for with bone cancer first and foremost include bone pain. This is the earliest symptoms of bone cancer and can become more severe over time as the metastases grow and develop. There can be swelling where the primary tumor is located and if that’s on a joint, you might experience problems with mobility. These symptoms occur because as the primary tumor grows, it presses on healthy bone tissue (which can destroy that tissue). 4

If you’re wondering what does bone cancer look like, be aware of new growths or swelling. Bone scan imaging, like x-rays and MRIs, will be further used by your physician to see what your particular bone cancer looks like internally. Currently, there’s no definitive answer as to what causes bone cancer, but bone cancer is diagnosed through bone scan imaging and biopsy results.

Treatment Options

Many patients ask how long do you live after being diagnosed with bone cancer? This question has to do with the stage of your bone cancer and whether it has spread or become metastatic. 

The overall five-year survival rate for all bone cancers in adults and children is about 70% — whereas the five-year survival rate for the most advanced stage of osteosarcoma (the most common type of metastatic bone cancer) is 27 percent. 5,6

Many doctors turn to options such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, but we believe there are better and alternative methods. 

At Immunity Therapy Center, we believe there is a treatment for everyone. That’s why we offer alternative cancer treatments based on our patient’s current condition, their type of cancer, and past medical history.

If you are diagnosed with bone cancer and are interested in learning how to treat bone cancer naturally, reach out to ITC today. Traditional cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery, can leave patients feeling weaker than when they started. That’s why our holistic treatment programs are designed to stimulate your immune system so that it can recognize and destroy cancer cells.

Whether you’re fighting bone cancer or another type of cancer, our team is here to help you.



  1. Definition of Skeletal System
  2. Bone cancer: Survival rate, causes, types, and treatment 
  3. How Quickly Cancer Spreads
  4. Bone Cancer Symptoms and Signs
  5. What is the Life Expectancy with Stage 4 Bone Cancer?
  6. What is Bone Cancer? 


April 16, 2020

Dr. Carlos Bautista is a Board Certified Medical Doctor. He received his Medical Degree from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and has more than 20 years of experience working with Alternative Medicine to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic degenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. He opened Immunity Therapy Center in 2007 with the goal of providing the highest quality medical care for more than 5,000 patients.