Tumors: Aging Population


Lead Author(s): 

Beatrice J. Edwards, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Osteogenic sarcoma (OS) exhibits a bimodal distribution, the significant second peak in incidence occurs in the seventh and eighth decades of life. Osteosarcoma in the elderly can also be attributed to Paget’s disease or previous radiotherapy. The expectation that these elderly patients may not tolerate aggressive modern chemotherapy means that those patients who develop OS after the age of 40 years are excluded from current trials of treatment. As a result, remarkably little is known about the outcome for this age group.1


The overall incidence of tumors of the musculoskeletal system is lower than many types of cancers. This is particularly true for primary cancers of the bones and joints, although bones and joints are frequently a site of secondary, or metastasized, cancers. The occurrence of cancers of the bones and joints affects all ages and is one of the primary cancers in young people. Myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, is a disease of the elderly, with nearly two-thirds of cases found in persons age 65 and over. Soft tissue cancers affect all ages, but the occurrence increases with age. (Reference Table7B.7 PDF CSV)

  • 1. Grimer RJ, Cannon SR, Taminiau AM, et al. Osteosarcoma over the age of forty. European Journal of Cancer 2003;39(2):157-163.


  • Fourth Edition

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