Bone pain is the most frequent symptom of bone cancer. Some people experience other symptoms as well.

Bone pain


Pain caused by bone cancer often starts with a feeling of tenderness in the affected bone. This gradually moves to a constant ache or ache that comes and goes, which continues at night and when resting.

Any bone can be affected, although bone cancer most repeatedly develops in the long bones of the legs or upper arms.

The pain can at times be wrongly mistaken for arthritis in adults and growing pains in children and teenagers.

Other symptoms

Some people excessively experience swelling and redness (inflammation) or observe a lump on or around the affected bone. If the bone is close to a joint, the swelling may make it difficult to use the joint.

In some cases, the cancer can deteriorate a bone, causing it to break (fracture) easily after a minor injury or fall.

Less common symptoms can include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • unexplained weight loss
  • sweating, particularly at night

When to seek medical advice

See your doctor if you or your child experiences persistent, severe or decline bone pain, or if you’re worried about any of the symptoms mentioned above.

While it’s highly unlikely that your symptoms are caused by cancer, it’s best to be sure by getting a proper diagnosis.

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