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Symptoms

Cancer that starts in your bone (primary bone cancer) can cause symptoms. Find out about these and when to see your doctor.

The symptoms of bone cancer will vary, depending on the size of the cancer and where it is in the body.

Primary bone cancer is very rare. It is much more likely that some other problem is causing your symptoms. But it's important to get any symptoms checked out by your GP. 

Cancer can also spread to your bones from somewhere else. This is called secondary bone cancer. The signs and symptoms of secondary bone cancer can be different.

Common symptoms

Pain

You might have an area that is painful or tender. It might be painful when you are lying still. The pain is often worse when you are in bed at night.

You could  have pain that travels along a nerve. Or, you might feel pain in a different part of your body to where the tumour is. This is called referred pain.

Swelling

You can't always feel or see a lump. You might have some swelling.

Problems moving around

You might feel it is more difficult for you to move around. You might be walking with a limp.

Less common symptoms

Feeling tired (fatigue)

You might feel more tired than normal, even if you are getting a good nights sleep.

A high temperature (fever)

You might have a high temperature or feel feverish. You might be having sweats.

A weakened bone

You might have a weakened bone that breaks. This is called a pathological fracture. This is very rare.

Weight loss

You might be losing weight even if you have not changed your diet.

If you have any of these symptoms, you must get checked out by your GP. The symptoms of bone cancer can be caused by other medical conditions. The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat and the more likely treatment is to be successful. So go to your GP as soon as possible.

Information and help

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About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.