At NewYork-Presbyterian, our orthopedic oncologists collaborate with other bone tumor experts in the National Cancer Institute-designated Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center to assess your symptoms, diagnose bone tumors accurately, and treat them promptly. You can receive all the care you need through one world-class medical center.

What are Bone Tumors?

What are Bone Tumors?

Bone tumor near shoulder seen during X-ray

Bone tumors develop when bone cells multiply uncontrollably and form a lump. There are a variety of bone tumor types. Treatment depends on the tumor’s size and stage, and whether it is benign or malignant.

Types of Bone Tumors


Most tumors are benign, meaning they cannot spread elsewhere in the body. Some bone tumors are malignant (bone cancer) and have the potential to spread (metastasize).

Malignant bone tumors

Cancerous bone tumors can develop from bone tissue (primary bone cancers) or spread from other sites (metastatic bone cancer). Our doctors have experience diagnosing and treating many types of bone cancer, such as:

  • Osteosarcoma - A type of bone cancer that usually arises in the arms, legs, or pelvis in people between the ages of 10 and 30
  • Chondrosarcoma - Which affects cartilage and is more common in middle-aged adults
  • Ewing sarcoma - A type of bone cancer that typically develops in children, adolescents, and young adults
  • Multiple myeloma – Cancer that develops in the bone marrow, the spongy center of bones, where new blood cells are made

Benign bone tumors

Benign bone tumors most commonly develop in children, adolescents, and young adults. Their cause is not known, although some types may be linked to a genetic mutation. Examples of benign bone tumors include:

  • Bone cysts
  • Chondroblastoma
  • Enchondroma
  • Giant cell tumor
  • Nonossifying fibroma
  • Osteochondroma
  • Osteoid osteoma

Signs & Symptoms of Bone Tumors


Not all bone tumors cause symptoms; some are found on an X-ray when the doctor is looking for something else. When symptoms do occur, pain is the most common—especially a dull, achy pain that may feel worse at night or with physical activity. Some bone tumors can be felt as a lump. Others cause a fracture if the bone has been weakened by the tumor, and the tumor is found when the fracture is diagnosed.

Bone tumor symptoms can mimic those of other diseases and injuries. If you have persistent pain in a bone that is not going away or is getting worse, see a doctor to determine where it is coming from. The sooner you diagnose a bone tumor, the sooner you can begin treatment.

Causes of Bone Tumors


Some bone tumors may be due to genetic mutations, prior injury to a bone, or previous radiation treatment. However, in most cases, it is not known what causes a bone tumor.

Get Care

NewYork-Presbyterian Specialists Are Here to Provide Bone Tumor Treatment

NewYork-Presbyterian provides comprehensive care to people with bone tumors of all ages and those with other types of bone diseases. Whether you have a benign or malignant tumor, we can assess your symptoms and determine the best course of care for you. Make an appointment with one of our bone tumor experts.