Giant Cell Tumor Symptoms & Causes

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Contact the Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program

  • 617-355-6021
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Locations


What causes a giant cell tumor and whom does it affect?

We don't fully know. Scientists do know that giant cells form when there is a proliferation of mononuclear cells that fuse together. It is unusual for this to happen in children prior before the growth of bones reaches full potential, although it occasionally does.

Giant cell tumor usually occurs in adults who are between the ages of 20 and 40. It seems to affect more women than men.

What are the symptoms of a giant cell tumor?

Symptoms vary, but here's a list of the most common ones:

  • pain
  • decreased joint range of motion
  • a tender hard mass may be felt
  • muscle atrophy
  • elevated temperature of the overlying skin

The symptoms of a giant cell tumor may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always talk to your doctor for a diagnosis.

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