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What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom is strong pain in the affected bone or joint. The pain gradually becomes constant and doesn’t improve with mild pain relievers such as paracetamol. It may be worse at night or during activity.

Other symptoms can include:

  • swelling over the affected part of the bone
  • stiffness or tenderness in the bone
  • problems with moving around, for example, an unexplained limp
  • loss of feeling in the affected limb
  • unexplained fractured bone
  • unexplained weight loss
  • tiredness.

Most people who have these symptoms do not have bone cancer. If you have symptoms for more than two weeks, you should see your general practitioner (GP).

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed June 2019 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr Richard Boyle, Orthopaedic Oncology Surgeon, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Dr Sarat Chander, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; James Hyett, Consumer; Rebecca James, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Warren Joubert, Senior Staff Specialist Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Kristyn Schilling, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Cancer Outreach Program, St George Hospital, NSW; Prof Paul N Smith, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Orthopaedics ACT.