Bone cancer: 5 warning signs!

Verified on 12/27/2023 by Alexane Flament, Editor
Cancer des os : 5 signes qui doivent vous alerter !

« Primary bone cancer accounts for 0.5 to 1% of all cancers, the most common being osteosarcoma (or osteogenic sarcoma). There are no more than 1,000 new cases each year in France […] » explains La Ligue Contre le Cancer.

Bone cancer is a rare form of cancer. Early diagnosis can save a sufferer’s life. Here are the symptoms that should alert you!

What is bone cancer?

Bone cancer, also known as bone sarcoma, is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the bone.

This cancer may start in bone cells or originate in other tissues. Diagnosis involves imaging tests and biopsies, while treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

According to La Ligue Contre le Cancer, most bone cancer tumours are metastases, the most common cancers to metastasize to bone being breast, kidney, prostate, thyroid and lung cancers.

« The most common primary bone cancer is osteosarcoma. It is a rare but aggressive malignant tumor that develops from osteoblasts, the cells that make up young bone tissue, » explains La Ligue Contre le Cancer.

Risk factors for bone cancer, although still poorly understood, include a family history of the disease, hereditary genetic disorders, radiation exposure, or rapid growth during adolescence.

Teenagers and young adults are more likely to be affected.  » In 70% of cases, the people concerned are under 18 years of age, » explains La Ligue Contre le Cancer.

The most common symptoms

The symptoms of bone cancer can vary, making it difficult to detect. Nevertheless, the most common symptoms include:

  • Persistent bone pain, especially at night, may be a sign.
  • Swelling accompanied by pain and inflammation,
  • Fractures, paralysis or movement difficulties.
  • Unexplained fatigue ,
  • Rapid, unwanted weight loss.

Some, like pain and swelling, can appear quickly, while others, like fatigue, weight loss and fractures, can be harder to detect.

In case of doubt, medical consultation is always recommended for a precise diagnosis. Nevertheless, any child complaining of these symptoms must consult a doctor!