Bone cancer: the symptoms

Pain: the first symptom of bone cancer

The most common symptom of bone cancer is the pain felt in the tumor. It is a dull pain, painful and persistent, unrelated to physical activity. She can wake up at night.

Other symptoms may be associated:

  • fever,
  • tired,
  • night sweats,
  • neurological pain (such as sciatica), etc.
Some tumors, however, do not cause any symptoms, and are discovered during further examinations. Sometimes the tumor is palpable.

Since the bone affected by cancer is more fragile, a fracture or a bone fissure may occur spontaneously on the location of the cancer.

The location of the tumor depends on the type of cancer:

  • In case of multiple myeloma, the pains can sit on all the bones.
  • In osteosarcoma, the bones around the knee, hip or shoulder are affected.
  • In chondrosarcoma, it is the pelvis and the upper part of the femur.
  • As for Ewing's sarcoma, it preferentially reaches the pelvis, femur, tibia, ribs, etc.
  • Finally, the bone metastases sit mainly at the level of the axial skeleton (ribs, vertebral column, skull, upper part of the femur, etc.).
In general, persistent pain or a fracture that occurs without any particular trauma should draw the attention of the patient and his / her physician.

The consultation with the doctor can then lead to the prescription of additional examinations, such as a blood test, an X-ray, or medical imaging examinations (MRI, CT scan, scintigraphy).

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