Signs and Symptoms of Bone Cancer

The signs and symptoms help in the diagnosis of any particular disease. The symptoms entirely depend upon the location of tumor. The common symptoms of bone cancer include pain in bones, swelling, and limping. Other rare symptoms of bone tumour include fever, fatigue, weight loss, and anemia. Some individuals show irregular bone pain symptoms, worsening bone pain at night, and no effects of using pain relievers in pain.

Tumors occur in any bone of the body. Possible symptoms of bone cancer include:

Bone pain

The earliest symptom of bone cancer is pain, which becomes observable as the tumor grows. Bone pain can come and go at the start and can occur only at night or when you are active, but it can become severe and steady later. Most bone sarcomas in children occur in the knee and are often misdiagnosed as ‘growth pain’ and delayed diagnosis ​1​. Other conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis can also lead to joint pain.


The area where the pain lies may begin to swell, or a lump or mass may be present. The patient may have a limited and painful range of movement.

Also Read: Treatment Approaches for Cancer


Cancerous cells tend to make the bone weak, resulting in a fracture, leading to a pronounced limp. Limping is usually a symptom of late-stage bone sarcoma.

Other less common (rare) symptoms of bone cancer may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue 
  • Weight loss
  • Anaemia

Sometimes, people with bone sarcoma do not have any of these changes. But if you encounter any of these symptoms of bone cancer, consult your doctor.

When to see a doctor?

  • If bone pain comes and goes
  • If the pain becomes worse at night.
  • If pain relievers do not help the pain


  1. 1.
    Mantyh PW. Bone cancer pain. Current Opinion in Supportive & Palliative Care. Published online June 2014:83-90. doi:10.1097/spc.0000000000000048