Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

Symptoms of bone cancer

Men and women discussing bone cancer

This page has information about the symptoms of bone cancer.

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Symptoms of bone cancer

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

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Problems with movement

The area around the bone tumour may be painful or tender. The pain is often worse at night. Swelling may not show up until the bone tumour is quite large. You cannot always feel, or see a lump. If the cancer is near a joint, the lump can get in the way and make it more difficult for you to move.

Other less common symptoms that you may have with bone cancer include tiredness, fever or sweats, and weight loss. Very rarely a weakened bone may break (called a pathological fracture).

Remember – all these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer. This is a rare disease, and it is much more likely that some other problem is causing your symptoms. But you must have your symptoms checked by your doctor. If it is a cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed the better. If it isn’t, there may well be other treatment that will relieve or cure your symptoms.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the About bone cancer section.

 

 

About the symptoms of bone cancer

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

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Problems with movement

The area around the bone tumour may be painful or tender. The pain is often worse at night. There is more information about cancer and pain control in the coping physically with cancer section.

You cannot always feel, or see a lump. Swelling may not show up until the bone tumour is quite large. Whether or not you can see or feel the tumour depends on where the cancer is. If the cancer is near a joint, the lump can get in the way and make it more difficult for you to move. You may develop a limp if the cancer is in a bone in your leg.

Other less common symptoms that you may have with bone cancer include

  • Tiredness
  • Fever or sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Very rarely a weakened bone may break (called a pathological fracture)

Remember – some of the above symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer. Primary bone cancer is very rare. It is much more likely that some other problem is causing your symptoms. But it is important that have your symptoms checked by your doctor. 

 

More information

The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful. So it is important that you go to your GP as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.

Rate this page:
Submit rating

 

Rated 4 out of 5 based on 144 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 23 May 2013