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Staging primary bone cancer


The test results will help show how far the cancer has spread in the body. This is called staging. Knowing the stage helps your health care team plan the most suitable treatment for you.


Grading describes how quickly a cancer might grow.

low gradeThe cancer cells look similar to normal cells. They are usually slow-growing and less likely to spread.
high gradeThe cancer cells look very abnormal. They grow quickly and are more likely to spread.

Stages of primary bone cancer

There are different staging systems used for bone cancer. Ask your doctor to explain your stage to you.

stage 1 (localised)The cancer contains low-grade cells; there is no spread beyond the bone.
stage 2 (localised)The cancer contains high-grade cells; there is no spread beyond the bone.
stage 3 (localised)There are several high-grade tumours in the same bone; there is no spread beyond the bone.
stage 4 (advanced)The cancer is any grade and has spread to other parts of the body (e.g. the lungs).

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed June 2019 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr Richard Boyle, Orthopaedic Oncology Surgeon, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Dr Sarat Chander, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; James Hyett, Consumer; Rebecca James, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Warren Joubert, Senior Staff Specialist Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Kristyn Schilling, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Cancer Outreach Program, St George Hospital, NSW; Prof Paul N Smith, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Orthopaedics ACT.