Who is affected by osteosarcoma?

This information has been written for patients, their families and friends, and the general public to help them understand more about osteosarcoma: what it is and the different types. This information is produced in accordance with BCRT's information policy.

Osteosarcoma can affect people of all ages but is mostly found in older children, teenagers and young adults between the ages of 10 to 24.

There is also a smaller group of people over the age of 55 who develop osteosarcoma.

  • In the UK around 160 people are diagnosed with osteosarcoma each year. This is fewer than 3 people out of every million people in the population, this is known as the ‘incidence rate’ (2.6 per 1,000,000 people).

  • Around 11 cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed in the Republic of Ireland each year.

  • Osteosarcomas affect males slightly more than females (approximately 1.4 times more often).

  • Osteosarcoma tends to occur at an earlier age in girls than in boys. This may be because girls have a growth spurt at a slightly earlier age.

The study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why, is called epidemiology (EH-pih-dee-mee-OL-loh-jee).

The authors and reviewers of this information are committed to producing reliable, accurate and up to date content reflecting the best available research evidence, and best clinical practice. We aim to provide unbiased information free from any commercial conflicts of interest. This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. BCRT can answer questions about primary bone cancers, including treatments and research but we are unable to offer specific advice about individual patients. If you are worried about any symptoms please consult your doctor.

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BCRT shall hold responsibility for the accuracy of the information they publish and neither the Scheme Operator nor the Scheme Owner shall have any responsibility whatsoever for costs, losses or direct or indirect damages or costs arising from inaccuracy of information or omissions in information published on the website on behalf of BCRT.

Version 2 produced January 2013
Information will be reviewed in January 2015

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