What are the symptoms of hip bone cancer?

Hip pain is common and most likely caused by injury, overuse, or a chronic condition such as arthritis. Signs of bone cancer often overlap with symptoms of these diseases. However, hip bone cancer is rare.

In fact, primary bone cancers, or cancers that originate in the bone, account for less than 1 percent of all new cancers. Bone cancer in the hip can cause pain, lameness, fractures, and hypercalcemia, a condition where there is too much calcium in the blood.

If you’re worried about hip pain and wondering what bone cancer feels like, you’re probably relieved that most hip pain isn’t caused by cancer. Because many symptoms of hip bone cancer are often caused by other diseases, it is imperative that your healthcare provider conducts a careful and thorough examination of your hip.

This article explains the four main types of bone cancer and how bone pain can be a major symptom of bone cancer. Swelling, fatigue, fever, and lameness are other symptoms of bone cancer.

Types of Hip Cancer

Bone cancer falls into one of two categories: primary and metastatic. Primary bone cancer starts in the bones, while metastatic bone cancer spreads from other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer is due to metastases from other cancers, most commonly breast and prostate cancers.

Here are the four main types of primary bone cancer that can affect the hip joint:


osteosarcoma It usually occurs in children, adolescents and young adults. It most commonly affects the arms near the shoulders and the legs near the knees. But it can also occur in any bone, especially in adults. Osteosarcoma tumors can grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs.


chondrosarcoma Start with cartilage, the connective tissue that covers the ends of bones and holds joints together. This type of cancer mainly affects adults who are at least 40 years old. It becomes more common as people age.

In adults, this is the type of bone cancer most likely to affect the hip. Chondrosarcomas usually form in the pelvis, thighs, and shoulders. It grows slowly.

Ewing sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a highly malignant tumor that affects the bones and soft tissues of children and adolescents. It most commonly affects the ilium, which is the largest bone in the hip. Children and adolescents often experience pain, lameness, and fever.

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Symptoms of Ewing Sarcoma


Chordoma is an extremely rare tumor that forms in the spine – most commonly at the base of the spine or the base of the skull. These tumors usually occur in older people. Affected men are twice as likely as women.

When the tumor is at the base of the spine, it can cause pain in the legs and affect the ability to control the bladder and bowel.


20% of people with bone cancer have no symptoms. For others, bone pain is usually the first symptom that appears. Sometimes this pain may occur before the tumor is seen on X-rays or computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Usually, pain starts spontaneously and varies in severity, depending on the stage of the disease. However, the intensity of pain does not always correlate with the type and location of the tumor. Often, bone pain worsens with exercise and is accompanied by a fever. Usually, the pain gets worse at night. At the onset of the disease, most people experience dull pains that come and go. The pain may become more severe and persistent over time.

About 20% of people with bone cancer have no symptoms. But if they do, bone pain is likely to come first. It also tends to intensify at night.

If the tumor continues to grow, breakthrough pain may occur. Breakthrough pain is pain that comes on suddenly. It can be very serious, but it usually doesn’t last long. In half of people with bone cancer, this pain usually lasts less than 15 minutes.

While bone pain is the main symptom of bone cancer, and hip pain can be a sign of a tumor in the hip, there are often other explanations for hip pain. Correctly diagnosing hip pain can be difficult because the hip joint is complex and deeply buried in the body. These factors make it difficult for healthcare providers to pinpoint the correct cause of pain. Some common causes of hip pain are:

  • femoral acetabulum (FAI) syndrome, hip impingement
  • fracture
  • hip bursitis, inflammation of the hip joint
  • hip dysplasia, problems with hip development
  • Hurt
  • Osteoarthritis
  • overuse
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Spinal problems that radiate to or affect the buttocks
  • SpondyloarthritisGeneral term for several inflammatory diseases
  • tendonitis
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Symptoms Matter

Symptom relief plays an important role in cancer care and treatment. This effort is called palliative or supportive care.


Swelling is another symptom of bone cancer. It usually occurs after the pain has progressed and may occur at the tumor site. Sometimes, a lump may be felt, which indicates a tumor.

Swelling and pain are very common in children and teens and are more likely to be caused by normal lumps and bruising while playing or participating in sports. In adults, swelling is less common unless there is direct injury.

Although swelling can occur with hip bone cancer, swelling is often a sign of other causes. Swelling of the hip joint can be caused by an injury or a condition such as bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac around the joint.

swelling can cause stiffness

Swelling may be exacerbated by limited range of motion and pain.

fatigue and fever

If you have bone cancer in your hip, you may experience cancer-related fatigue. 80% to 100% of cancer patients experience extreme tiredness or lack of energy. It can make completing everyday tasks like brushing your teeth feel as exhausting as running a marathon. While rest is important for any illness, adequate rest doesn’t always relieve bone pain.

The causes of fatigue caused by cancer are not fully understood. However, researchers suspect it is triggered by changes in hormone or protein levels that are linked to inflammation or caused by toxins produced by the cancer itself. Some cancer treatments can also cause fatigue.

An unexplained fever may also indicate bone cancer in the hip. Malignant tumors are known to cause fever. This may be the case if you are not sick and have no other explanation for the fever. In people diagnosed with cancer, a fever usually indicates an infection and should be treated immediately.

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Like other signs of bone cancer, lameness may indicate a tumor in the buttocks. However, lameness can also be the result of an injury to the area, such as a broken bone. Rheumatism, arthritis, or other conditions that affect the hip joint and the tendons around the hip joint can also cause lameness.

While a limp doesn’t necessarily mean you have bone cancer in your hip, a limp that doesn’t go away should be fully evaluated by a healthcare provider. If the lameness is caused by bone cancer in the hip, it is usually a symptom of advanced bone cancer. This is usually caused by a fracture or fracture caused by a tumor.

Self-Care for Hip Pain

Most hip pain causes are musculoskeletal and can be treated at home. If you have pain in your hips, self-care methods may help you relieve the pain. This may include over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs (such as Advil), herbal teas, creams, gels, compresses, yoga, meditation, walking, exercise, or a combination of these strategies.

treatment solutions

To properly diagnose bone cancer, a healthcare provider will need a complete health history, perform a physical exam, order X-rays, and possibly use imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Tumor biopsies may also be performed. However, while a biopsy is very accurate in diagnosing malignancies, it does not indicate how advanced the cancer is.

Tumors that grow in bone can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). Benign bone tumors are more common. Both types of tumors can grow and affect healthy bone tissue, although benign tumors usually do not spread or destroy bone tissue.


Feeling hip pain doesn’t mean you have bone cancer in your hip. In fact, the chances of this happening are really rare. Still, bone cancers are divided into two categories: primary and metastatic. Primary bone cancer starts in the bones, while metastatic bone cancer spreads from other parts of the body. Bone cancer can be further subdivided into osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, and chordoma. Swelling, lameness, fatigue, and fever are signs of bone cancer.

VigorTip words

The chance that hip pain is cancerous is very low, but don’t use that as an excuse not to talk to your healthcare provider. Especially if the pain persists or starts to interfere with the way you walk or go about your daily life. Many tumors in the bones do not show symptoms until they progress and affect surrounding areas. Doctors don’t call tumors “sneaky” for no reason.