There are different symptoms of primary bone cancer. Doctors may call these ‘clinical signs’ or talk about ‘presentation’.

The symptoms may depend on the location and size of the tumour. They may be quite general and can be similar to the symptoms of sports injuries, growing pains, tendonitis or arthritis.

Symptoms may be mild at first and slowly get worse, or they may appear suddenly. They also vary for every person. Some people may have just 1 symptom, whereas someone else may have several.

Symptoms of primary bone cancer include:

  • bone pain which might be worse at night, happens all the time or stops and starts, is not helped by painkillers and may get worse over time.
  • a lump or swelling, which may be seen or felt if the tumour is near the skin’s surface (called a ‘palpable mass’), when examined by a doctor.
  • problems moving, a limp, stiff limbs or joints, unable to move as normal
  • tenderness over the bone or joint
  • a broken bone caused by weakening of bone due to a tumour without having had a fall or accident (called a ‘pathological fracture’)

Other possible symptoms include:

  • feeling tired or weary (‘lethargy’ or ‘fatigue’)
  • pain with tingling and numbness (‘pins and needles’)
  • weight loss and loss of appetite
  • sweats at night
  • high temperature (fever)
  • feeling breathless

If you think you have symptoms of primary bone cancer or are worried about anything, please contact your doctor. You might want to download a copy of our Primary Bone Cancer Flashcard to show your doctor.

You may want to visit our ‘Contact our Support and Information Team’ webpage to find out how to get in touch with our team and what support they can offer.

If you are a healthcare professional, take a look at our Primary Bone Cancer Flashcard, for key information about the condition.

Symptoms awareness video