What are the symptoms of bone cancer?
In many cases, bone tumors are painless, but as they grow, they may cause swelling around the affected bone and surrounding tissue. Oftentimes these symptoms will get worse at night or when the bone or limb is being used, as in when walking.
It’s also common for bone tumors to weaken the area of the bone in which they are located and cause fractures.
Other symptoms of bone cancer can include:
- Weight loss
- Numbness or tingling
- Weakness in an arm, leg, foot or hand
How is bone cancer diagnosed?
Miami Cancer Institute’s alliance with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center gives your care team access to an expert pathology unit that can help pinpoint your exact type of cancer. Identifying the specific cancer type allows your oncologists to develop a more individualized and effective treatment plan.
Our bone cancer specialists also have a biweekly tumor board meeting, where they collaborate with radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists and medical oncologists, who are sarcoma experts. These regular meetings allow your team to develop the best treatment for you.
If your doctor suspects you have a bone tumor, he or she may conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history, as well as your family medical history. Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests, such as blood tests. You will also likely undergo imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, or MRIs.
Once you have finished your diagnostic and imaging tests, your team may perform a biopsy. During this procedure, we will remove a tiny piece of tissue from the tumor or suspicious area, and a pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope to see if it has cancerous cells.