Symptoms and Signs of Bone Cancer

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is cancer that arises in the bone cells. Although many types of cancer can spread via the bloodstream, or metastasize, to the bones, true bone cancer (primary bone cancer) is bone cancer that begins in the bones rather than spreading to them. There are a number of different kinds of bone cancer. The cause of bone cancer is not completely understood, but it likely involves a combination of genetic factors as well as environmental influences.

Signs and symptoms associated with bone cancer depend to some extent on the type and location of the cancer. Bone pain, that is often worse at night, is a characteristic symptom. Other symptoms and signs of bone cancer can include breaks or fractures of the bone, swelling of the involved area, numbness, tingling, or feeling a lump in the bone.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.