Giant cell tumor of bone is a rare, aggressive non-cancerous tumor. It generally happens in adults between ages 20 and 40 when skeletal bone growth is complete.
It usually develops near a joint at the end of the bone. The location of a giant cell tumor is often in the knee, but can also involve the bones of the arms and the legs. It can also affect the flat bones, such as the breastbone or pelvis.
While the exact cause of giant cell tumors remains unknown. In some cases, they have been linked to Paget disease of bone. This is a chronic bone disorder in which bones become enlarged and misshapen.
The following are the most common symptoms of a giant cell tumor. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of a giant cell tumor may look like other medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests may include:
Specific treatment for giant cell tumors will be determined by your healthcare provider based on:
The goal for treatment of a giant cell tumor is to remove the tumor and prevent bone damage. Treatment may include:
Tumors that can’t be removed surgically can often be controlled and sometimes destroyed with radiation therapy.
Giant cell tumors can come back. Follow-up with your healthcare provider may be required for several years.
A giant cell tumor is a rare, aggressive non-cancerous tumor. It usually develops near a joint at the end of the bone. Most occur in the long bones of the legs and arms.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: