What Are Giant Cell Tumors?

Giant Cell Tumors are aggressive non-cancerous tumors that occur in the skeletal bone and are generally experienced by young adults ranging from the ages of 20 and 40 years old when skeletal bone growth is complete. Additionally, they're most often found in the long bones and joints of the body.

The most common symptoms of this tumor are pain, swelling, and limited movement. Although it is not cancerous, this aggressive tumor can destroy the surrounding bone.

This information is meant to be purely educational and is no substitute for tangible medical advice. If you or a loved one is concerned about the possibility of Giant Cell Tumors, consult your specialist immediately.

What are Giant Cell Tumors?

Giant Cell Tumor of bone is a rare, aggressive non-cancerous tumor. It usually develops near a joint at the end of the bone, typically appearing at the lower end of the femur (thighbone) or upper end of the tibia (shinbone). 

Although it is not cancerous, Giant Cell Tumors are aggressive and can destroy the surrounding bone. Treatment almost always involves surgery to be removed and prevent damage to the bone near the affected area.

 

 

Who is most affected by Giant Cell Tumors?

Giant Cell Tumors are most often found in patients between 20 and 40 years of age when the skeletal bone growth is complete.

What are the causes of a Giant Cell Tumor?

Unfortunately, the exact cause of Giant Cell Tumors is unknown. The tumors occur spontaneously and are not known to be hereditary or the result of observable external factors.

What are the Symptoms, and When Does it Occur?

The most common symptoms include pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and long bones, commonly the knee, femur, and tibia. This pain usually increases with activity and decreases with rest.

The following symptoms may include:

How are Giant Cell Tumors Diagnosed?

Diagnostic tests will be taken through physical examinations, x-rays, biopsy, and bone scans. Running these tests will examine the body for abnormalities, provide imaging, and determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.


While Giant Cell Tumors may be a concerning diagnosis, treatment for these tumors has advanced rapidly over the past decade. Your team at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics is here to provide insight, support, and innovative treatment strategies to equip you or your loved one to return to function promptly. Reach out today to learn more.