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Cancer Advice - from leading UK Cancer Specialists
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Bone tumours

X-ray of long bone showing malignant bone tumour arising from the shaft
X-ray of long bone showing malignant bone tumour arising from the shaft

Most bone tumours encountered in clinical practice are secondary forms (i.e. spread - metastases - from a separate primary cancer that started elsewhere), and it is incorrect to refer to these as ‘bone cancer’.

 

Doctors use the term bone tumours to refer to tumours which arise in the bone from the start (primary bone tumours), rather than those which are spread from a cancer that has originated elsewhere.

 

This point is of importance as the methods and data outlined in this section do not apply to secondary bone cancers/metastases.


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