Symptoms of bone cancer

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 or metastatic bone cancer. The signs and symptoms of secondary bone cancer may be different.

Common symptoms


You might have pain or tenderness most of the time, even when you're resting. The pain is often worse in bed at night.

You could have pain that is felt in a different part of the body from where the tumour is. This is called referred pain.


You might have some swelling, but it is not always possible to see or feel a lump.

Problems moving around

It might be more difficult to move around, or you might walk with a limp.

Less common symptoms

Feeling tired (fatigue)

You might feel more tired than usual, even if you're getting a good nights sleep.

A high temperature (fever)

You might have a high temperature, feel feverish and have sweats.

A weakened bone

You might have a fracture caused by a weakened bone. This is called a pathological fracture but is very rare.

Weight loss

You might lose weight even if you haven't changed your diet.

If you have any of these symptoms, you must see your GP. Other medical conditions can cause similar symptoms. It doesn't mean you have cancer. But the earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat, and the more likely treatment is to be successful. So see your GP as soon as possible.