Cancer occurs when cell proliferation goes unchecked. Abnormal cells accumulate and form tumors depending on the organ from which they originate. In the case of bone cancer, cells within the bone can grow out of control and form large, painful lesions.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. It accounts for 95% of all cases and comes from the types of cells that are responsible for building up and breaking down bones. Osteosarcoma primarily affects long bones like those in the forelimbs and hindlimbs but can grow in other places like the hips.
There are environmental and inherited factors responsible for its development, and large breeds like Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers have an increased risk for it. Osteosarcomas have a high risk of spreading to other internal organs, especially by the time it has been diagnosed via x-rays and biopsies.
The second most common type of bone cancer is chondrosarcoma. This bone tumor affects flat bones such as those around the nose, skull, and ribs. It originates from the cells that create cartilage in the joint spaces. It is less likely to metastasize to other parts of the body, but it is still locally aggressive and can tremendously painful.
Fibrosarcomas and hemangiosarcomas are some other types of cancer. Both are primarily soft tissue tumors, originating from connective tissue and blood vessels, respectively. But in rare cases, fibrosarcomas and hemangiosarcomas can originate from the bone.