BMUS: Cancers of Bones and Joints

Lead Author(s): 

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

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

SEER estimated that in 2013, 3,010 people were newly diagnosed with cancer of the bones and joints. The number of new cases of bone and joint cancers is 0.9 per 100,000 people per year. In addition, 1,440 people will die annually from cancer of the bone and joints.1 According to SEER statistics, the rates for new bone and joint cancer cases have been rising, on average, 0.4% each year over the last ten years. However, death rates have fallen on average 0.3% per year, with survival rates rising slightly. Incidence estimates derived from NCDB are slightly higher without an appreciable change in survival. There has been a gradual increase in the number of cases reported to the NCDB in the past 13 years. While the reason for this difference is unknown, it could reflect reporting changes rather than incidence changes.

Myeloma occurs five to six times as frequently as the other bone cancers. It will be diagnosed in 22,350 persons per year, an incidence rate of 5.9 per 100,000 persons per year. An expected 10,710 persons died of myeloma in 2013.2

Although annual cases included in the American College of Surgeons National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) show a slower rate of increase, proportionately, for bone and joint cancers than for cancer cases overall, the incidence of bone and joint cancers is increasing. Between 2000 and 2011, the annualized number of primary cases recorded increased by nearly 15%. Myeloma cases, however, increased at twice the rate of cancer cases overall, 47% to 23%, respectively. (Reference Table 8A.5.2 PDF CSV)

Growth Rate in Number of Cases for Major Cancer Sites, United States 2000 to 2011 


  • 2014

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