Gross specimen of femur with giant cell tumour.

Gross specimen of femur with giant cell tumour.

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Credit: DR. E. WALKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Giant-cell tumour. Head of the femur sectioned to show a primary giant-cell tumour. The tumour is red and haemorrhagic with brown areas round the edge. It consists of sarcoma-like tissue (cancerous connective tissue) scattered throughout which there are numerous multinucleated giant cells resembling osteoclasts (large cells that reabsorb calcified bone). Such tumours are malignant, often located at the end of the long bones. They are commonly found round the knee joint where they form locally destructive masses which may invade the joint. If the cancer has not spread amputation may be an effective treatment. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy may also be used.

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Keywords: bone, cancer, femur, giant cell, giant cell tumour

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