Dr. Sharanabasappa Hatti, Senior Consultant Surgical Oncology, HCG Cancer Center Kalaburagi.
Have you ever wondered if a wart, swollen lump, or mole on your skin could be a serious health concern? It could be a more serious health issue than just a skin problem. It is always important to be on the lookout for warning signs that could lead to more serious health issues, such as a tumor. A tumor is an unusual bump that can occur in any part of the human body Some of these tumors can either be visible, forming a lump or a bump on the skin whereas some can also occur underneath the skin without presenting themselves. Therefore, it is important to stay aware of any suspicious pain or protruding lumps in any part of the body. Similarly, Tumors are quite common on the hands as well as the wrists and may present as a lump, wart or mole. These tumors may develop under the skin and then go on to become a protrusion in the form of a lump.
While they may develop on the hands and wrists, they may not necessarily be cancerous. In all probability, it is non-malignant and can be treated effectively. As a result of the various types of tissues, including the ligaments, nerves, fat, blood vessels, etc., different types of lumps can form. Among the common types of hand and wrist tumors are warts, ganglion cysts, giant cell tumors, epidermal Inclusion cyst, among others.
Warts are tumors that are extremely common and in most cases non-cancerous. Warts occur as a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV). They also spread quickly and can become itchy for some. Warts can be easily removed under your doctor’s guidance. Another one is Ganglion Cysts – These tumors are quite common on the wrist and fingers. They can be either hard or soft bumps, big or small, and can be removed surgically or by puncturing. In most cases, they can be left untreated.
They could also be Giant Cell Tumors which are tumors of the tendon sheath that are generally large and quite solid. They do not have any liquid in them. While non-malignant, these tumors can keep growing over a period of time.
Another is the Epidermal Inclusion cyst, a tumor that generally occurs at the place of a cut or injury. It consists of a waxy fluid that makes the tumor soft. It is generally harmless as it does not spread.
Apart from the above, some other tumors include lipomas which are fat tumors, neuromas which are nerve lumps, fibromas which are connective tissue lumps, and glomus tumors which generally occur near the nail or the tip of the finger.
Malignant Tumors of the Hands and Wrists
While in most cases hand and wrist tumors are non-cancerous, on rare occasions one might develop a malignant tumor. This tumor is generally quite irregular in shape and tends to grow at a quick rate. They generally grow as lesions and can be terribly painful and uncomfortable, more specifically at night time.
Some cancerous tumors that develop on the hands and wrist include melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma as well as some sarcomas. In very rare cases, cancer may spread to the hand from another part of the body, such as the breast or even the lung. This type of cancer is called metastatic cancer.
When to Seek Treatment?
While most hand and wrist tumors do not require any medical attention, get in touch with a doctor if- the tumor grows fast or if it is very painful, and if it causes other symptoms like a tingling sensation and numbness, they look infected and are extremely itchy.
Treatment of Hand and Wrist Tumors
After a physical examination, some lab tests and imaging, or even a biopsy, your doctor will recommend a treatment. The treatment of the tumors on the hands and wrists may vary depending on the cause of the bump.
These may include: over-the-counter medicines/prescriptions which may include painkillers or other anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to help with the symptoms. Medications such as corticosteroids can also be prescribed to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) which can cause lumps because of inflammation and damage in the tissues.
Aspiration, meanwhile, is another method used to treat ganglion cysts as well as epidermal inclusions. It is used when tumors are filled with fluid that can be drained with the help of a needle. Surgical removal of the tumor may also be advised if the lump becomes extremely uncomfortable, surgical removal of the tumor may be advised. These are simple procedures with a quick recovery period.
Another is cancer therapy. In the case of cancerous tumors, doctors may recommend surgery or some form of radiation or chemotherapy. The treatment for cancerous tumors generally depends on how big the tumor is, its location, and other risk factors.
Get in touch with an expert if you have any concerns or symptoms that are uncomfortable to effectively diagnose and treat hand and wrist tumors.