Cancer occurs when the cells in a certain area of your body divide and multiply too rapidly. This produces a lump of tissue known as a tumour.
The exact reason why this happens is often not known, but certain things can increase your chance of developing the condition, including:
These risk factors are described in more detail below.
Some non-cancerous (benign) conditions affecting the bones may increase your chances of developing bone cancer, although the risk is still small.
In particular, a condition called Paget's disease of the bone can increase the risk of bone cancer in people over 50-60 years of age.
Rarer conditions that cause tumours to grow in your bones, such as Ollier's disease, can also increase your risk of bone cancer.
A rare genetic condition called Li-Fraumeni syndrome can increase your risk of developing bone cancer, as well as several other types of cancer.
People with this condition have a faulty version of a gene that usually helps stop the growth of tumours in the body.
People who had a rare type of eye cancer called retinoblastoma as a child may be more likely to develop bone cancer, because the same inherited faulty gene can be responsible for both conditions.