Bone Cancer

  • Medical Center Campus
  • 111 Colchester Avenue
    Burlington, VT, 05401
  • Phone: 877-540-4673
  • Directions

Bone cancer is a rare cancer that starts in a bone. Some types of bone cancer occur mainly in children and others in adults. Usually, bone cancer affects the long bones of the arms and legs.

Bone Cancer: What You Need to Know


Bone cancer is managed best by a group of specialists in musculoskeletal oncology, pediatric hematology and oncology, adult hematology and oncology, surgical oncology, orthopedic surgery, radiation oncology and pathology. At Fletcher Allen, our physicians, nurses and support staff work together as a team, providing expert care.

Personalized Care

Every patient is unique. You and your family will feel the advantages of personalized, patient-centered care. We optimize your bone cancer treatments to your specific bone cancer diagnosis.

Experienced, Trusted Expertise

Fletcher Allen’s staff physicians are board-certified orthopedic surgeons and have additional specialty training in adult and pediatric oncology.  Our doctors are University of Vermont College of Medicine faculty members and are involved in research, and in the education of the College of Medicine students and orthopedic surgery residents.

What is Bone Cancer?

Bone cancer is also called bone sarcoma. Sarcoma is cancer that starts in the muscles, tendons or cartilage or bones (musculoskeletal oncology).

There are several different types of bone cancers, and they are based on the type of cell where the cancer began. The three most common types of bone cancer include:

  • Osteosarcoma: This bone cancer begins in the bone cells, and usually happens in children and young adults.
  • Ewing's sarcoma: It is unclear where in the bone Ewing's sarcoma begins, but researchers believe it may begin inside the bone’s nerve tissue.  Usually, Ewing's sarcoma happens in children and young adults.
  • Chondrosarcoma: This bone cancer starts in cartilage cells found most commonly on the ends of bones. Typically, chondrosarcoma affects older adults.

 Bone cancer symptoms include:

  • Bone pain
  • Swelling and tenderness near the affected area
  • Broken bone
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss without trying

The exact cause of most bone cancer is unknown, but several factors can increase your risk of developing it, including: 

  • Rare inherited genetic conditions: Certain uncommon genetic disorders passed through families increase the risk of bone cancer, including:
    •  Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Hereditary retinoblastoma
  • Paget's disease of bone: Typically, this precancerous condition affects older adults
  • Radiation exposure: Previous exposure to large doses of radiation, such as those given during radiation therapy for cancer, increases the risk of future bone cancer

Diagnosis and Treatment: Bone Cancer

 Fletcher Allen’s physicians are highly trained in performing procedures to diagnose and treat bone cancer such as chemotherapy and surgery.  Should your bone cancer require surgery, you can rest assured in the knowledge that our orthopedic surgeons are greatly skilled in performing advanced surgical procedures for bone cancer.

Learn more about bone cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 877-540-HOPE(4673).