What does bone cancer feel like?


Quick Answer

Individuals with bone cancer typically feel deep, aching pain in the bones of the pelvis, back, arms, legs or ribs that often starts off gradually and becomes more persistent as the cancer develops, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Swelling or lumps may also accompany localized pain.

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Full Answer

Bone cancer that affects the spine may also cause swelling or lumps in the throat area that hinder swallowing and obstruct breathing, explains the American Cancer Society. While bone cancer does not typically cause breaks or fractures, the condition can significantly weaken the bones, which can lead cause severe, sudden pain if an adjacent healthy bone is injured.

Additional symptoms of bone cancer can include unexplained weight loss and fatigue, Mayo Clinic adds. It is important for individuals with potential symptoms of bone cancer to consult with a physician as soon as possible.

The most common forms of bone cancer are osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma, Mayo Clinic explains. Osteosarcoma develops in the bone cells. Chondrosarcoma develops in the bone cartilage and is more common in adults. Ewing's sarcoma typically occurs in children and younger adults and is believed to develop in nerve tissues inside of the bones; however, the exact area of initial development is not completely understood.

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