Primary bone cancer is rare, making up around 0.2 percent of all cancers, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Researchers say the onset could be linked to hereditary factors, but a specific cause is not known. The majority of bone tumors are noncancerous. In many cases, when cancer is found in the bone it is secondary -- the tumors spread or metastasized from somewhere else and are thus not categorized as bone cancer. Bone cancer, or cancer that has reached the bones, has a variety of symptoms.
Pain is usually the first symptom of bone cancer. Initially, it will be mild and intermittent, often occurring at night or after engaging in physical activity. Over-the-counter medications can usually ease the pain. Over time, however, sensation increases as the disease progresses, eventually becoming a persistent ache. Describing the type of pain as aching, stabbing, throbbing, or burning will help a physician prescribe the right pain relief medications and may help diagnosis.
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