COMMON TYPES OF HAND AND WRIST GROWTHS
Bumps and lumps form on the hands for various reasons. Although any strange growth can cause concern over cancer, only 1-2% of tumors on the hand are malignant. Tumors can be bothersome. Some can cause pain or impede movement. Others are merely unsightly, prompting patients to seek treatment.
Common Hand and Wrist Growths
- Ganglion Cysts: benign, liquid-filled sacs that form over joints and tendons, most commonly at the wrist. This type of cyst may form alone, or in a group. Ganglion cysts are not harmful and make up about 50% of all soft tissue hand tumors. Though they are not life-threatening, they can cause pain and impede hand or wrist movement. If needed, these growths can be treated through various options, including needle aspiration or surgery.
- Giant Cell Tumor of Tendon Sheath: these firm growths develop from the tendon sheath (membrane surrounding a tendon) or joint lining. These growths are not harmful and can be removed, though they often recur.
- Inclusion Cysts: the result of a puncture or laceration of the hand, these growths often form years after the initial injury.
- Carpal Boss: often mistaken for a ganglion cyst. Carpal boss is actually an overgrowth of bone on the back of the hand. It is firmer than a ganglion cyst. Though this growth is not harmful, it can be removed if desired.
- Enchondroma: a condition where cartilage grows inside the bone. Though this tumor is non-cancerous, it can result in a weakening of the bone. They are usually discovered through hand X-rays. Most instances of enchodroma require no treatment, though in aggressive cases they can be treated surgically.
Though cancerous tumors on the hand and wrist are rare, they sometimes do occur. The most common types of cancer affecting the hand or wrist are skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Houston hand surgeon Dr. Fiore is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and fellowship trained in hand and microsurgery. For more information about tumors, or to schedule a consultation, call Fiore Hand & Wrist Surgical Associates at (281) 970-8002.