Risk factors identify things affecting your chance of getting a specific disease, such as bone cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean you will definitely get cancer. It simply means the factor puts you at greater risk of having bone cancer, than people not sharing that risk factor. Some risk factors you control. Others, such as age or genetics, you do not control.
Risk factors for bone cancer include:
Genetic disorders, caused by gene mutations, increase your risk for bone cancer. Some of these bone cancers with ties to hereditary factors include osteosarcomas, chondrosarcomas and cordomas.
Osteosarcomas are linked to rare inherited syndromes in children. These syndromes include:
Some families include several family members diagnosed with osteosarcoma, but showing no other hereditary defects. Scientists do not yet know why this occurs.
People with multiple exostoses syndrome experience higher risk of chondrosarcomas, a type of bone cancer. Multiple exostoses syndrome produces cartilage bumps on the bones, causing pain, deformities and fractures. It is a genetic disorder.
Another condition leading to increased risk for chondrosarcomas is an enchondroma. An endochroma is a non-cancerous cartilage tumor growing into your bone.
Chordomas seem to have a genetic link, but scientists have not identified specific genes related to this bone cancer yet. Children with tuberous sclerosis, an inherited condition, also experience higher risk for chordomas.
A benign yet pre-cancerous condition, Paget disease affects your bones by causing abnormal bone tissue to grow in older adults. This condition leads to heavy, thick and brittle bones with higher tendency toward fractures. About one percent of people with Paget disease develop bone cancer.
Bones exposed to radiation therapy in the past experience greater risk for bone cancer. If you underwent cancer-related radiation therapy in the past, new cancer can grow in your treatment area. Going through radiation at a young age or being treated with high doses increases this risk.
A small number of patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation reported development of bone cancer, specifically osteosarcoma.