Bone cancer

In bone cancer, tumours grow in the bones, and any bone can be affected.


In bone cancer, tumours grow in the bones, and any bone can be affected. These tumours cause bone pain and swelling, depending on the type and location of the tumour. Therapy options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.


Main symptoms

The symptoms depend on the location, size and type of the tumour. These include different degrees of:

  • Feeling of tightness and pain in the area around the tumour
  • Swelling or deformation of bones or joints
  • Restricted mobility (if a tumour is located close to a joint)

Other symptoms

  • Bone fracture (tumour growth weakens the bones)
  • Fever (rarely)
  • An inflammatory response is common, with the skin covering the tumour turning red and hot

Causes and treatment


The exact causes are unknown. Risk factors include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Chemotherapy

Bone metastases are tumours that move to the bone from another cancer site. They occur when cancer cells spread to the skeleton through the bloodstream.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Removal of tissue samples
  • Blood test
Possible therapies
  • Operation
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

When to see a doctor?

  • Persistent bone pain, in particular if it also occurs at night
  • Visible swelling or deformation of bones

Further information

Krebsliga Schweiz (Swiss Cancer League)

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.