The incidence of tumors in childhood is increasing day by day. These tumors may be detected incidentally during examinations and tests performed for other reasons, but they sometimes occur as a pain, swelling on an extremity and even a pathological fracture.
In such cases, asymmetry, deformity or swelling in the child’s extremities may be observed during the examination. Malignant masses are typically solid masses that do not cause sensitivity. Masses that are relatively soft, are mobile and cause pain are more likely to be benign. After the examination, the diagnosis can be confirmed with some tests. An x-ray is in the first place among these examinations. Some tumors may be typical according to their location in the bone. Further examinations such as MRI or Computed Tomography may be performed after the X-ray.
In addition to the imaging tests, some blood tests are also useful in diagnosing a tumor. Blood tests, such as whole blood count, C-reactive protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), may be performed. After the further tests, a biopsy may be recommended to patients from time to time for a definitive diagnosis. The definitive diagnosis of the existing mass is made by a histopathological examination of the material taken during the biopsy. According to this diagnosis, the way of treating the mass is determined.
While most benign masses may be followed up with periodic examinations and tests, some malignant masses should be operated without wasting time. In the differential diagnosis of the tumors, infections, the incidence of which is more than that of the tumors and which are suspected to be a tumor, and post-traumatic changes in the extremity should always be kept in mind. Nevertheless, in order not to miss the diagnosis of an important pathology such as a tumor, it will be correct to evaluate any swelling or mass seen on any extremity during childhood as a tumor until the opposite is proven.