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What does “bone pain” feel like when cancer has spread there?


I know variations of this question have been asked. I'm looking for some specifics. I have had pain in the lower left side of my back for five weeks now. Sometimes when it's bad, I feel it in my whole hip area. My doctor is aware and we're keeping an eye on it. It's getting worse, but I want to know what the “bone pain" actually feels like when cancer has spread. When I read about it, the articles simply say “bone pain." My pain feels different than the bone pain I felt from nuelasta. It's not that aching from inside. I'd say it's more of a throbbing and burning pain. I usually feel it worse when I'm sitting, or when shifting in bed, standing for a long time etc. It's better when I'm walking unless I've overdone it.

  • I would love to hear about your experiences, if you've dealt with bone Mets or thought you might be.


  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363

    I don't know but I am glad you started this post like to hear what others say.

  • intheclub
    intheclub Member Posts: 20

    Me too! I’ve got unbelievable hiP pain which might be bursitis but this new lot of pain is way worse than last time when bursitis was diagnosed plus I have the pain in both sides now and it’s a deep throbbing accompanied by stabbing pain depending on how I move. I’m having an ultrasound guided steroid injection in a few days and if that doesn’t help my GP will order a bone or CT scan. I’ve had lobular BC with mastectomy.

  • jesnort5
    jesnort5 Member Posts: 4

    intheclub Ah sorry you’re in pain too! How did the steroid injection go?

    I’m curious as to why your doc didn’t order a scan prior to the injection? Is he/she hesitant to scan for for some reason? I hope everything goes well!! I see that you’re about 7.5 yrs out of diagnosis. Are you still seeing your oncologist regularly? Keep us updated!

    My pain gets worse with sitting long periods of time or laying in certain positions. My onc ordered a CT scan because it has been about six weeks of pain. CT on Thursday!

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681

    I had something similar earlier this year and it turned out to be tendonitis, but like you, I was terrified. I went to an ortho surgeon; he did a physical exam and an x-ray.

    Eventually, after I switched shoes for hiking/running and stopped going so deeply into yoga poses and made sure I sat up straight (no slumping) at work and watching TV, it went away. I still feel it from time to time and chalk it up to the aromasin I take and the fact that I'm so physically active.

    Claire in AZ

  • Carolee64
    Carolee64 Member Posts: 2

    it’s sciat

  • Carolee64
    Carolee64 Member Posts: 2

    sorry .. sciatic

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,300

    I had some nasty hip pain (a few years ago) when I started intermittent high-intense walking. I slowed down, gave it a month and the pain went away. Mine was so bad that it caused me to hobble/limp. My onco said watch and wait and it did disappear. I will say that my DH is riddled with mets in his bones and he has zero bone pain.

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,609

    I would say its a feeling unlike any other. Its deep, gets worse at night. You can tame the pain a bit with painkillers, but it never goes away. You cant ice or heat it away, although that will bring some relief. Whatever the ailment is also gets worse over time. Its not sharp or burning like nerve pain or sciatica, its not throbbing like a pulled muscle its just... deep and always there. A neulasta injection sort of resembles it, but its a deeper, more painful feeling.

    Yours sounds closer to sciatica - when I thought I had sciatica (but it was bone mets) it never got better with walking or movement and it was always there in the background, there was never really a comfortable spot. When I had a disc prolapse, there were comfortable ways I could sit or lay, however.

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658

    I've been wondering about this myself. I've been having dull, aching pain in my lower back/sacrum area, which is definately the bone/joints, and is easily inflammed by pressure when I previously didn't have such issues. I'm leaning towards exemestane/osteoporosis as the culprit but the concern of mets lurks in the back of my mind.

  • mamadetres
    mamadetres Member Posts: 15

    like most people, I've had back pain over the years, it comes it goes. In January, I had back pain that didn't go away. It was a bit more intense than what I had previously experienced. I ordered a chair pad for my office and a standing desk, so I could sit or stand as needed-this was saying a lot...I don't typically address pain. The pain persisted a few weeks, so I called my onc. By the time I was able to get in for an appointment, the pain had gone away. Thank God I kept my appointment and that my onc was proactive enough to order scans. Found mets to my sacrum, several vertabrae, and to my ribs along with an enlarged lymph node. The rib is not and was not painful. The best word I can use to describe is, "tender". When/if I lay on my side, I can feel something is off.

    If you're feeling a "different" kind of pain, go get it checked out. I am that person that can google and explain anything away. I am learning that my Google MD isn't worth a heck of a lot! Voice your's worth the co-pay. LISTEN to your gut!!

  • anx789
    anx789 Member Posts: 238

    I been having this aching dull deep pain on my lower leg. Not sure if it’s a bone or muscle pain. No swelling.This past few days, it’s been bad that I have to take pain meds. As soon as the meds wears off, here it comes again. It seems worst when my leg is at rest. I can move and walk with no problem. X-ray and ultrasound came back normal. My pcp thinks it’s not bone because I can move my legs with no pain. With bone pain, does it hurt more with movement or at rest? Is it tender to touch?