Primary Bone Cancer: Symptoms To Know

Primary bone cancer is a poorly understood disease with particular symptoms. If treated early, it has a high chance of recovery
Primary Bone Cancer: Symptoms to Know

You may have already heard of primary bone cancer. When you have cancer, it is common for the disease to affect the bones at any given time. In this case it is secondary or metastatic bone cancer.

According to some medical statistics, however, in recent years the cases of so-called primary bone cancer , that is, which originates directly in the bones, have increased.

The survival rate for this form of cancer is quite high, as long as it is diagnosed at the first stage; for this reason, prevention and information are extremely important. Although severe, this tumor causes pain from the very beginning, a symptom that allows it to be detected early.

What is primary bone cancer?

Bone cancer

Primary bone cancer is not a common disease and is not as well known as other cancers, such as breast or colon. However, even if rarer than others, it is good to talk about it, especially since the symptoms are often confused with those of other diseases.

This cancer affects the skeleton, and the most affected areas are always those surrounding the femur, knees and tibia. It has no relation to secondary bone cancer, i.e. it is not the consequence of the formation of metastases derived from another primary type of cancer.

There are three types of primary bone cancer:

  • Osteosarcoma : it is the most common form and unfortunately it particularly affects adolescents in full growth, as it appears in the new tissues of the bones that are forming.
  • Chondrosarcoma : occurs in adults between 40 and 60 years, always developing in the cartilage.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma : Often affects children, as their nerve tissue is still developing, and may be due to the presence of sarcomas in the bone marrow. It is important to underline that this type of cancer can be due to hereditary factors, which is why it is easier to prevent it and get good results thanks to treatments such as radiotherapy.

Primary Bone Cancer Symptoms

Bone pain

In this article we will focus on the primary bone cancer that mostly affects adults, namely chondrosarcoma. Symptoms can be easily confused with those of other diseases (arthrosis, inflammation, osteoporosis) ; for this reason it is important to better define the symptoms.


There are days when your knees hurt more than usual. We often attribute this pain to fatigue, but instead it is an exhaustion that day after day causes more and more discomfort and that we try to alleviate with the help of anti-inflammatories. The pain associated with this tumor is more stinging.

Particular attention should be paid to the knees, tibia and femur, as chondrosarcoma affects these areas in 70% of cases.


A particular symptom is added to the pain just described, that is not being able to bear the rubbing of clothes and in the most serious cases the simple touch with the hand of the affected area. The pain is particularly intense, like a burning plate, and it is difficult to calm the pain with medication.

Acute inflammation

As primary bone cancer expands, it invades the tissues surrounding the bone or joint. As a result, a very characteristic enlargement is produced which is immediately worrying.

This is not a simple inflammation and just touch the area to notice more tension than that caused by the swelling typical of arthritis.


Inflammation and tissue buildup produced by the tumor almost always causes fever. As you may have noticed, the symptoms are very evident and require you to consult the doctor in a short time, which allows you to intervene as soon as possible.

Always remember that self-medication is not a viable option. Don’t try to calm the symptoms with drugs, but understand what happens to the body.

Possible fractures

Fractures occur when the disease reaches a more advanced stage, when it has weakened the bones and caused possible injuries. Before reaching this point, the body will have already shown various symptoms, such as acute pain, fatigue, inflammation and fever.

It is very important to watch out for all these symptoms. Although primary bone cancer is not very common, the greatest risk lies in the fact that its symptoms are often confused with those of other less serious diseases, which is why one does not seek medical attention.

Bone plate

Do not underestimate acute pain in the knees, and always contact your doctor so that he can point out the cause of the problem with certainty. Remember that this cancer, if diagnosed in its early stage, has a good chance of recovery! Take care of yourself!

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