Know the Symptoms of Secondary Bone Cancer

Updated at: Jun 13, 2016
Know the Symptoms of Secondary Bone Cancer

 There are two kinds of bone cancers, namely primary and secondary. Symptoms of both kinds are hard to figure out, although some subtle signs can help you detect the difference.

CancerWritten by: VishnuPublished at: Feb 09, 2012

Bone cancers in general, whether primary or secondary, rarely show any symptoms. If at all they do, these signs and symptoms are subtle. And when these symptoms are observed, they are often misconstrued for some other health condition and thus ignored and left untreated. If this cancer is diagnosed at a later stage, very often it is too late to treat it.


primary or secondary, rarely show any symptoms

Some of the subtle signs and symptoms of bone cancer that you could always look out for in case of a secondary bone cancer are:

Chronic and aggravated pain in the affected area – Pain is usually the most common symptom in both primary and secondary cancers. In the case of secondary cancer, the pain is due to the result of pressure that the cells apply on the nerves. When the cancerous cells from other parts of the body metastasize to the bones, they exert pressure on the surrounding nerves and tissues, and  induce pain. Some of the most commonly affected areas where the pain is experienced are the legs, the pelvic region, spinal cord and the ribs. The pain is often misconstrued as a result of fibrosis in which pressure is normally exerted on the sciatic nerve.

Weakness in the legs

The bones in the legs is the prime target for the metastasized cancer cells. So, if you feel weak in the legs and this persists for more than two weeks, you definitely need to consult your doctor and get a medical check-up.

Raised calcium level in the blood

If you experience nausea and vomiting, it could be the result of an increased level of calcium in the blood. Constipation could also be one of the symptoms.


If you are anaemic, there is a greater chance of you being diagnosed with secondary bone cancer. This is because with reduced red blood cell productivity, the bone marrow’s resistance to the infection is weakened and thus the cancer cells can easily invade the bone marrow.


Unexplained fatigue


Unexplained fatigue

This is another symptom observed in people suffering from the cancer. Even with a normal appetite, you could still feel tired and utterly fatigued. The weakness in the bones could add to the fatigue factor and leave you gasping for breath.


Weakness in the spine

If you feel abnormal pressure on your spinal cord, it could be a symptom of bone cancer. Cancer cells can easily metastasize and attack the nerves around the spinal cord. This induces severe pressure on the spine, and can even lead to paralysis. You could experience severe backache that persists for several weeks even with proper rest and sleep.




Image Source: Getty

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