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Bone Tumors - Benign

BonesYour bones perform a number of essential functions. They support and protect your internal organs. They act as levers and braces for your muscles to help you move. They also produce and store blood cells in the bone marrow. (Read about "Skeletal System")

Bone tumors that are benign are noncancerous. Malignant tumors of the bone are bone cancer. (Read about "Bone Cancer")

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), benign bone tumors are more common than malignant ones. Benign tumors do not spread and are usually not life threatening. However, they can grow and compress healthy bone tissue; they can also absorb or replace healthy tissue with abnormal tissue.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says common benign tumors include:

X-rays can show the presence of a bone tumor. (Read about "X-rays") A bone scan, magnetic resonance imaging and/or CT scan can be used in diagnosis as well. (Read about "CT Scan - Computerized Tomography" "MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging") If cancer is suspected, a biopsy would be needed to determine whether cancer is present. (Read about "Biopsy")

In many cases, according to AAOS, benign bone tumors need no treatment other than observation. In the case of cysts, steroids may be injected and/or the fluid may need to be removed by needle. In the case of giant cell tumors, surgery is often needed.

It may be necessary to remove some types of benign tumor to reduce the risk of fracture and disability. It's also possible that a benign tumor may come back after removal. Some types of benign tumors can also become malignant (i.e. turn into cancer) and metastasize.

All Concept Communications material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

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