Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Giant Cell Tumor Overview

What is a giant cell tumor?
A person with a giant cell tumor has a benign bone tumor that forms near a joint. Benign tumors are abnormal growths of cells that have formed a mass. Benign tumors are not cancerous because they do not spread to other areas of the body. Giant cell tumors are most commonly located in the knee, shoulder and wrist. The tumor tends to recur after surgical removal. These rare tumors are generally seen in young adults.

What are the symptoms of a giant cell tumor?
Symptoms of a giant cell tumor may include swollen joints, knee swelling, shoulder swelling, wrist swelling, joint pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and wrist pain. Bone tumors can cause weakening of the bone. If the bone becomes too weak, a fracture can occur.

How does the doctor treat a giant cell tumor?
Treatment for a giant cell tumor includes splints and surgery.

Continue to Giant Cell Tumor Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Giant Cell Tumor References
  1. Caudell JJ, Ballo MT, Zagars GK, Lewis VO, Weber KL, Lin PP, Marco RA, El-Naggar AK, Benjamin RS, Yasko AW. Radiotherapy in the management of giant cell tumor of bone. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Sep 1;57(1):158-65. [12909228]
  2. Chang SS, Suratwala SJ, Jung KM, Doppelt JD, Zhang HZ, Blaine TA, Kim TW, Winchester RJ, Lee FY. Bisphosphonates may reduce recurrence in giant cell tumor by inducing apoptosis. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Sep;(426):103-9. [15346059]
  3. Yasko AW. Giant cell tumor of bone. Curr Oncol Rep. 2002 Nov;4(6):520-6. [12354366]
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