Diagnosis & Staging
Secondary bone cancer is also called metastatic bone cancer, bone mets or bone metastases.
For more information on primary cancers that start in the bone: Bone Sarcomas
Secondary bone cancer symptoms can include:
- Bone pain (most common symptom).
- Broken bones.
- Spinal cord compression: when cancer growing in the bones of the spine presses on the spinal cord. This can cause numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, problems walking, or difficulty urinating (peeing). Spinal Cord Compression handout
- Hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood). This may cause symptoms such as:
- Nausea (feeling queasy)
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme thirst
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- Frequent urination
If you have any signs or symptoms that you are worried about, please talk to your family doctor or nurse practitioner.
Tests that may help diagnose secondary bone cancer include:
- Imaging tests to see the cancer and where it has spread:
- Bone scan.
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan .
- Blood tests.
- Urine (pee) tests.
- Needle biopsy: a doctor uses a needle to take a small piece of tissue. A specialist doctor (pathologist) examines the tissue to see if it is cancer.
For more information on tests used to diagnose cancer, see BC Cancer Library screening and diagnosis pathfinder.
See the type and stage of your original (primary) cancer: Types of Cancer