Usually you begin by seeing your family doctor (GP). They will examine you and arrange any tests or x-rays you need. Your GP may refer you to a local surgeon who specialises in bone diseases (an orthopaedic surgeon), or to a bone cancer specialist.
If tests show that you may have primary bone cancer, you should be referred to a specialist hospital or bone tumour treatment centre (sarcoma unit). Children are referred to a children’s (paediatric) hospital for some of their care. Teenagers may be referred to a teenage cancer unit. These units have specialist doctors with experience in diagnosing and treating young people with cancer. They also have a team of people to support teenagers.
The specialist at the hospital or bone treatment centre will ask you about your symptoms. They will want to know about your general health and any previous medical problems. They will examine the affected area to check for any swelling or tenderness. You will have a blood sample taken to check your general health. You’ll also have some of the tests listed in our section about further tests.