Primary Malignant Bone and Connective Tissue Tumors

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Lead Author(s): 

William G. Ward SR, MD
Robert M. Corey, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Bone and connective tissue neoplasms, which include bone and joint sarcoma, myeloma, and soft tissue sarcomas, are uncommon when compared with other cancers and with other musculoskeletal conditions, accounting for about 2.2% of annual cancer cases between 2006 and 2010 (approximately 43,000 cases). This is slightly higher than the rate of 1.9% reported previously for the years 2002 to 2006. The annual average number of new bone and joint cancer cases between 2006 and 2010 was 3,888, while during this same time an average of 1,360 deaths from bone and joint cancer occurred each year. (Reference Table 8A.1.1 PDF CSV, Table 8A.3.1 PDF CSV, and Table 8A.3.3 PDF CSV)

Annual Distribution of Cancer Cases by Type, United States 2006 to 2010

Data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute, used to present the burden of bone and connective tissue neoplasms, is the most comprehensive source of information on cancer incidence, prevalence, mortality, survival, and lifetime risks. Data is currently available from 1974 to 2006. The SEER program is one of the most comprehensive sources of neoplasm data; it is based on data representing approximately 10% of the US population.

In addition, data from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) was used in the analysis for staging and growth rates for common cancers. The NCDB is maintained by the American College of Surgeons, containing much of the same standardized data as that collected by the SEER database. Data are collected from all institutions wishing to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Each accredited institution is required to report all patients with cancer treated at their institution, including annual follow-up data. Site visits and interaction between American College of Surgeons cancer database personnel and the local reporting institutions verifies a minimum of 90% case capture and reporting for each institution. Multiple internal checks verify the data accuracy. It is estimated that the approximately 1,500 reporting institutions each year treat approximately 71% of all patients with malignancies in the United States. The primary author was granted research access to the database under the Participant User File (PUF) research program. However, accessible data was only for cases in patients 18 years old and older, showing the age-related aspects of the NCDB dataset.


  • 2014

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