What to Know About Hand Tumors

What to Know About Hand Tumors

Posted on 02/23/2023

Hand tumors are abnormal growths. They can occur in the bones, soft tissue, or skin of the hand or wrist. The tumors can be benign or malignant and affect people of all ages. Understanding the different types of hand tumors and the symptoms, causes, and treatments for each can aid in decision-making regarding your health.


Types of Hand Tumors

There are several types of hand tumors, each with its characteristics and treatment options. Some of the most common types of hand tumors include:


  • Osteomas - These are benign tumors that develop in the bones of the hand or wrist. They are slow-growing and typically do not cause any symptoms.

  • Ganglion cysts - These fluid-filled sacs develop in the joints or tendons of the hand or wrist. They are usually benign and do not cause symptoms but are painful if they press on a nerve.

  • Lipomas - These benign tumors develop in the soft tissue of the hand or wrist. They are usually slow-growing and do not cause any symptoms.

  • Melanomas - These are a type of skin cancer developing in the cells that produce pigment. They are often dark in color and can be itchy or painful.

  • Sarcomas - These malignant tumors develop in the bones or soft tissue of the hand or wrist. They are usually fast-growing and can be painful or cause other symptoms.


Symptoms of Hand Tumors

The symptoms of hand tumors can differ with the kind of tumor and its location. Some of the most common symptoms include:


  • Pain or tenderness in your hand or wrist

  • Swelling or stiffness in your hand or wrist

  • A lump or mass in your hand or wrist

  • A change in the color or texture of the skin on the hand or wrist

  • Weakness or numbness in your hand or wrist

  • Difficulty moving the hand or wrist


Causes of Hand Tumors

The exact cause of hand tumors is not always known, but some factors can increase the risk of developing them. One of the most common causes of hand tumors includes having some types of hand tumors running in families. Melanomas are more likely to develop due to a lot of sun exposure.

Some types of hand tumors can develop after an injury or trauma to the hand or wrist. Some studies have found that exposure to certain chemicals or toxins can increase the risk of developing certain hand tumors.


Diagnosis of Hand Tumors

If you have symptoms of a hand tumor, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history. They may request imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans, or X-rays to get a better look at the tumor. A biopsy can happen by removing a small tissue from the tumor for examination under a microscope.


Treatment of Hand Tumors

The treatment for a hand tumor will depend on the kind of tumor, its location, and how advanced it is. Surgery is often the first line of treatment for hand tumors. The goal is to remove the tumor and any surrounding affected tissue.

High-energy radiation beams are used in radiation treatment to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may happen before or after surgery or as a standalone treatment for certain tumors. Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to eliminate the tumor cells. It works for small benign tumors, such as ganglion cysts.

Sometimes, a benign tumor may not require treatment. Your doctor can monitor it for changes over time. Recovery from hand tumor treatment can take several weeks or months, depending on the type of treatment received and the extent of surgery. Physical therapy may help regain strength and range of motion in the hand or wrist.

For more about hand tumors, visit East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our office in Oakland, California. Call 510.904.1100 to book an appointment today.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.