- TV broadcaster Desmond Howard had a tumor removed from his hand, though he did not say what kind.
- Most hand tumors which often appear as a lump or bump, are benign or non-cancerous.
- Treatment for hand tumors are often outpatient surgical procedures.
- Common treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapy depend on things like the type of tumor you may have and where it is in the body.
“Doc said the surgery went well, the tumor was removed,” the football legend and ESPN analyst wrote on Instagram.Read More
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Howard was a No. 4 overall draft pick during the 1992 NFL draft and helped lead the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 1997. He was named the ‘Most Valuable Player’ during that year’s big game to pad out his resume before he retired in 2002. He is now a college football analyst on ESPN.
At this time, Howard hasn’t shared what exact diagnosis prompted his doctors to remove the tumor from his hand, but hand tumors are quite rare, according to Massachusetts General Hospital.
Understanding Hand Tumors
Most hand tumors, which often appear as a lump or bump, are benign or non-cancerous, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. Hand tumors can occur on the skin in the form of a mole or wart, but they can also form underneath the skin.
A ganglion cyst is the most common hand tumor, which is about the size of a pea. According to Mayo Clinic, they are filled with jellylike fluid and are not cancerous.
A giant cell tumor of tendon sheath is the second-most common hand tumor. These are also benign.
While cancer in the hand is very rare, Massachusetts General Hospital says, “The most common primary hand malignancies are skin cancers like squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or melanoma.”
Treating Hand Tumors
Treatment for hand tumors are often outpatient surgical procedures. These procedures with the lowest recurrence rate involve surgically removing the tumor.
Patients with benign hand tumors may also opt to receive no treatment, although the tumor has the potential to continue to slowly grow over time.
Treatment Options for Most Tumors
A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that forms when cells grow and divide more than they should and can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), according to the National Cancer Institute. Cancerous tumors can spread to other parts of the body.
WATCH: Deciding between radiation and surgery.
Cleveland Clinic list the following as malignant tumors:
- Bone tumors
- Brain tumors such as glioblastoma and astrocytoma.
- Malignant soft tissue tumors and sarcomas.
- Organ tumors such as lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
- Ovarian germ cell tumors.
- Skin tumors such as squamous cell carcinoma.
Common treatment options depend on things like the type of tumor you may have and where it is in the body. Benign tumors don’t always need treatment but for malignant tumors treatment options typically include:
- Surgery to remove the tumor.
- Chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before surgery or destroy lingering abnormal cells after surgery.
- Immunotherapy to engage the immune system to fight cancer.
- Radiation therapy to destroy abnormal cells.
- Targeted therapy to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.
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