Conditions General Hands

Understanding Hand Tumors

People hear the word tumor and immediately think that this refers to cancer. However, thats not the case. In fact, a tumor is the name for any mass, lump, or bump hat may appear on or in the body. Most tumors are nonmalignant, which means they are not cancerous. On one hand, most tumors grow close to the surface. They may grow on the skin or directly under it. Of course, since you have all types of tissue in your hands, like tendons, muscles, skin, nerves, etc, then there are many different types of tumors that may occur. Instead of going over every type of hand tumor that is possible, lets discuss the most commonly seen.

Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are completely benign and they occur near or on a joint, especially on the fingers and the wrist. They are filled with a clear liquid and can grow or shrink from day to day. Sometimes, thy completely disappear all on their own. Usually, they do not cause any problems, but if they become painful or they get in the way of normal use of the hand, then surgical removal is possible. Ganglion cysts are the most common of all hand tumors.

Giant Cell Tumor on Tendon

This is the second most common and it occurs when a solid mass develops on the sheath protecting a tendon in the hand. They can occur anywhere a tendon is present, so anywhere in the hand. They grow very slowly and they are benign. It is unclear what may cause them, but some doctors feel there is a link between tumors and trauma or injury that affects the growth of the tendon sheath.

Epidermal Inclusion Cyst

Epidermal inclusion cysts are also very common and they are benign too, Essentially, they grow on the underside of your skin in the hand. Often, they form where the hand has been cut or otherwise wounded and they are made of keratin. As skin cells get trapped under the skin, keratin grows and continues reproducing.

Other, not so common types of hand tumors, include fibromas, glomus tumors, and bone spurs. In almost every situation, they are benign. If a foreign body, like a splinter gets stuck deep in the hand, then the skin may form a tumor around it as well.

Hand Cancer

As mentioned, most types of tumors are benign, but any lump or bump should be evaluated by a physician. Most of the time, hand cancer comes in the form of squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, or basal cell carcinoma – all of which are skin cancers. It is important to get cancer in the hand diagnosed because it can spread to other parts of the body, especially the bones, breast, and lungs.

If you have a bump or lump on your hand, then be sure to visit a doctor. A diagnosis will be made and if the bump is causing you problems, then it can be removed surgically. This resolves the problems in most cases. Some people choose to leave the tumor alone if it is benign and it is not causing pain or discomfort.