A giant cell tumor is one that is made up of a large number of benign (noncancerous) cells that form an aggressive tumor. 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, or the flat bones such as the breastbone or pelvis.
Giant cell tumors most often occur in young adults when skeletal bone growth is complete.
While the exact cause of giant cell tumors remains unknown, in some cases, they have been linked to Paget disease. Paget disease of the bone is a chronic bone disorder in which bones become enlarged and deformed.
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 conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor 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 doctor 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 recur. Follow-up with a doctor may be required for several years.
A giant cell tumor is one that is made up of a large number of benign cells that form an aggressive tumor, usually near the end of the bone near a joint. Most occur in the long bones of the legs and arms.
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