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My younger sister (18) is diagnosed with bone tumor. The doctors say that it is benign and they call it solitary osteochondroma. It is in her knee area and it is discovered by chance, when she was X - rayed after she broke her shin and hurt her knee. We need some information on this type of bone tumor. We would also like to hear if it is true that this bone tumor usually disappears during time (doctors claim that this will probably happen in my sister’s case). No history of tumors in our family.

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Solitary osteochondroma is a very common type of bone tumor. It belongs to a group of primary bone tumors - it means that it starts in the bone, whereas secondary bone tumors start somewhere else in the body and then spread to the bone. This type of osteochondroma is called solitary because it appears in one bone only. It is very often in teenagers and the cause is unknown. Solitary osteochondroma is a benign bone tumor, and as such it just needs watching or it can be treated with medication. Since your sister is young (this type of bone tumor usually affects people from 10 to 30), it is likely that her tumor will disappear over time. The bone outgrowth created on the surface of the bone can be surgically removed if your doctor finds it appropriate (it is usually done if the lump causes pain with activity or puts pressure on a blood vessel), but then you will have to wait until the growth is complete and then have the lump removed. As I said, this tumor will probably go away in time, but regular check - ups are a must. You must be aware that there is always a chance of turning a benign tumor into a malignant one and of spreading over the body. It is also possible that the tumor reoccurs, even after being treated in various ways.
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