What is a Bone Tumor? Sign, Symptoms and Ways to Diagnose

A tumor is a mass of tissue which has grown uncontrollably and abnormally forming a lump. When this abnormal tissue forms in the bone it is called bone tumor. Tumors make up less than 1 percent of all cancers

As the tumor grows, the abnormal tissue can deform and displace the healthy tissue, which can make the bone susceptible to fractures. Tumors usually grow in specific locations such as near the spine. Near GROWTH PLATES IN HIPS, KNEE OR SHOULDER. Bone tumors can be of different types mainly, primary and secondary.

Types of Bone Tumor

  1. Primary bone tumors
  2. Secondary bone tumors

Bone tumors can be also categorized as

  1. Benign
  2. malignant

What Causes Bone Tumor

In most cases, the aetiology of the tumor is unknown but there can be some risk fac5or that can develop tumors

  • Previous multiple exposures to radiation during radiotherapy
  • Some conditions as in paget’s disease however there is only a small number when paget’s diseases can lead to bone tumor
  • History of certain conditions—including retinoblastoma and umbilical hernia, ewing’s sarcoma
  • Some genetic conditions including li-Fraumeni syndrome- people with this condition have a genetic mutation which enhances tumorous growth of cells


  1. Patient can feel a few or more of the following symptoms if he has a bone tumor
  2. Bone pain, pain may occur even while resting
  3. Weakened bone, making bone prone to fracture
  4. An obvious Swelling or lump
  5. tenderness near affected area
  6. Fatigue
  7. Unintended weight loss

When to See a Doctor

If the bone pain persists or worsens over the course of time. If the pain is present during the nights. The affected area is reddened and swollen, making the movement of the joint difficult. The noticeable lump over the bone weakens the bone that it breaks often/fractures more easily.

Diagnostics of Tumor

There can be various tests for the diagnosis of tumors which can be as follows-

Xray of Bone

When a bone or tissue is radiation exposed to produce images of inside of the body it is known as an X-ray. It is an particular and effective way to look at bones and its structure.

X Rays can determine whether the symptoms are caused by something else such a broken bone

They can even determine if there is another mass of bone growing due to cancer and can detect the bone cancer as well.

If the x ray suggests of bone a bone cancer, the patient is to be referred to a specialist

Since cancer is a disease, specialised centres are needed to do diagnostic tests and provide treatment solutions, one of them being Ganesh diagnostics.


Biopsy is a definite diagnostic tool. A sample of suspicious bone tissue is collected, if the tumor is small enough it is collected as whole, known as excisional biopsy.

One way is needle biopsy, where we can take a sample tissue with the help of a needle

Doctor can also make a small opening in the skin to remove a small part of tumour, the procedure is known as open biopsy

It is very essential to do biopsy by a skilled and experienced personnel since a wrong biopsy performed can lead and limit the treatment options later on

MRI Scan

MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of bone and soft tissue

An mri scan is an effective and one of definite ways to assess and determine the spread and presence of tumorous growth in and around bone. A small amount of radioactive material is injected inside of veins during bone scan.

Abnormal mass of bone will absorb more of this radioactive substance and on a faster rate than a normal bone showing the area as a ‘hotspot’ on the scan

Bone Scans

Bone scans can provide with a detailed information about inside of a bone than an xray

PET Scan

Positron Emission Tomography PET CT scan helps determine the stage of tumor. Pets can is usually combined with ct scan which creates a scan image of the body and its tissues. In the procedure a small amount of radioactive sugar substance is injected into the patient’s body, the substance takes up the maximum energy  since the cancer cells tend to use this energy actively however the amount of radiation in the substance is too low to be harmful. A scanner then detects the substance to produce images of the tissues of the body

Blood Tests

Sarcomas cannot usually be diagnosed by only blood tests; some sarcomas are there which can show increased levels of alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase levels in blood. But high level of these substances may also have any benign cause as well such as in growing children with bone forming stage or healing broken bone


Since the bone tumour is a disease which progresses showing a very limited signs and symptoms during its progression but only are felt when it has progressed to an extent where doctors immediate intervention is needed, it is always better to get full body check-up time to time and timely when one or few of the above symptoms start to show. As early and effective diagnosis is a must, with well equipped and skilled environment, we Ganesh diagnostics  have here the latest technology and enough staff to provide an fast report delivery and smooth process.

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