What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a type of cancer which is not very common and happens when cancer cells grow destroying normal healthy bone tissue. Some of these cells spread through the blood or lymphatic system, and are likely to affect other internal organs resulting secondary malignancies and what is known as metastasis. So that you can know more details of this disease, the following article will explain precisely what the symptoms of bone cancer are and the different types which exist.

You may also be interested in: What are the First Symptoms of Tongue Cancer?
Steps to follow:

First, it is important to know that malignant tumours (which are cancerous) specifically in the bone are called primary bone cancer and this is quite uncommon. The most common is that the cancerous tumour has spread from the affected parts of the body, e.g., the breast, lung or prostate, to the bone. This, in turn, is called secondary bone cancer or metastatic bone cancer.

It is also worth noting that there are three different types of primary bone cancer. These are:

  • Osteosarcoma: this usually occurs more frequently in patients between 10 and 19 years old, and commonly develops in the knee or upper arm.
  • Chondrosarcoma: this occurs most often in adults over 40 years old, and there is a greater risk as people get older.
  • Ewing Sarcoma: Occurs more frequently in patients under 19 years of age and usually develops in leg or arm bones.

Once you know this, we must tell you that bone cancer symptoms vary depending on the location and size of the tumour. Furthermore, although not all patients with this disease suffer from it initially, a sharp pain on the affected bone is one of the main symptoms. Initially this pain may be temporary but as the cancerous tumour grows, it's likely to become constant and increase with the performance of any movement or physical activity.


This acute pain is usually followed by inflammation in the bone or near to the bone, and sometimes you may notice a lump in the place where the cancerous tumour is located. For example, when the tumour involves any of the bones in the neck it is possible that a lump on the back of the throat will appear, which in turn could cause the patient difficulty swallowing and breathing correctly.


Although not as common, there are certain cases where you may suffer from a bone fracture and is there an increased risk of this happening because the bone has been affected by the cancerous tumour and is deeply weakened.


Besides those described above, it is likely that patients with bone cancer experience other symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Weight loss.
  • Fever.
  • Anaemia.
  • In the case that cancer occurs in bones of the spine, a pressure may occur in the nerves that cause numbness and tingling.
  • When bone cancer spreads to other organs it will cause other symptoms. For example, if the lungs are affected, it is common that the patient has severe trouble breathing properly.

Note that the presence or manifestation any of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate bone cancer, so if you present symptoms, don't panic. It is very important however, that you visit your doctor immediately to talk about your symptoms. This way you'll know for sure what is causing the manifestation of such symptoms and can start the appropriate treatment for your particular case.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer
What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer

Back to top