Worried I have bone cancer.

Hi there my name is Sarah and I’m 20 years old,

last year at the beginning of January, I started experiencing radiating pain in my left leg. Mainly goes from my knee, down the front of my leg and into my foot. The pain is constant, some days it isn’t so bad but then I have days where it is very painful, a few months ago I was fed up of the pain in my leg so I went to my GP I explained to her that I was worried that I had bone cancer due to this pain and she immediately referred me for an X-ray which stated on the letter was to check for osteosarcoma. 

I go for the X-ray, they x-rayed my hip and my knee however the X-ray came back normal which I was happy about. About two months ago I called my doctor again and told her that the pain is still there and she referred me for an MRI on my lower back to check to see if anything is pushing on a nerve and that also came back normal. 

I am worried sick, I’ve had this pain for a year and six months now. All I can think is that I’ve got bone cancer and I’m at late stage and I’m going to die, I suffer from horrible anxiety so that doesn’t help either. 

can an X-ray miss bone cancer? I keep googling and I’m seeing things and it’s driving me insane. 

  • Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for getting in touch. Having ongoing symptoms can be stressful so it’s understandable that you are worried something might not have been picked up on the x-ray.

    It’s good to read that your GP has been arranging tests and these have not shown anything of concern.

    No test is 100 % perfect however they do go through scrupulous reviews and if there had been anything to note on your x-rays or MRI the radiology team would have reported this.

    As you are still in pain it is a good idea to speak with your GP. I’m not sure if they have suggested being seen by an orthopaedic service or physiotherapy. It ‘s worth asking about this. If they don’t think this will help, they can explain why.

    As there’s lots of information available on the internet it’s easy to become consumed and overwhelmed with its content. This might not be helping with your anxiety. Having some screen free time and using other distractions like meeting friends or going out in the fresh air might help.

    It is worth, if you haven’t already, speaking with your GP about the impact the worry is having on you. They may be able to arrange some extra support to help you.

    In the meantime speaking with the likes of MIND or the Samaritans might help. Every Mind Matters is really good resource too.

    We aren’t suggesting these resources to dismiss your symptoms, they can help you to find ways of coping with how you feel though.

    I hope this helps and you are able to speak with your GP soon

    Take care, Linda (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist)