Bone Cancer Symptoms

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Bone cancer refers to the abnormal growth of cells within the bones, leading to the formation of tumors. Early identification of bone cancer symptoms is crucial as it enables timely intervention and treatment. Detecting symptoms early allows for prompt medical evaluation, diagnosis, and initiation of appropriate treatment strategies. Early treatment can help prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, improve prognosis, and enhance the effectiveness of treatment modalities, ultimately leading to better outcomes and quality of life for patients.


Signs and symptoms of bone cancer include:

  • Bone pain
  • Swelling and tenderness near the affected area
  • Weakened bone, leading to fracture
  • Fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss


The exact cause of most bone cancers remains unknown. While a few cases of bone cancer are associated with hereditary factors, and others are linked to past exposure to radiation, the majority of cases lack a clear identifiable cause.

Types of bone cancer

Bone cancers are categorized into different types based on the specific cell where the cancer originates. Among the most prevalent types are:

  • Osteosarcoma: This is the most frequent form of bone cancer, characterized by cancerous cells that generate bone tissue. Osteosarcoma typically affects children and young adults, often occurring in the bones of the arms or legs. In rare instances, it can develop outside of bones (extraskeletal osteosarcomas).

  • Chondrosarcoma: Ranking as the second most common type, chondrosarcoma involves cancerous cells that produce cartilage. It predominantly affects middle-aged and older adults, often occurring in the pelvis, legs, or arms.

  • Ewing sarcoma: Ewing sarcoma tumors primarily manifest in the pelvis, legs, or arms of children and young adults.

Risk factors

It’s not clear what causes bone cancer, but doctors have found certain factors are associated with an increased risk, including:

  • Inherited genetic syndromes. Certain rare genetic syndromes passed through families increase the risk of bone cancer, including Li-Fraumeni syndrome and hereditary retinoblastoma.
  • Paget’s disease of bone. Most commonly occurring in older adults, Paget’s disease of bone can increase the risk of bone cancer developing later.
  • Radiation therapy for cancer. Exposure to large doses of radiation, such as those given during radiation therapy for cancer, increases the risk of bone cancer in the future.

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