Bone Cancer Home > Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is a condition involving a tumor of the bone or soft tissues. The tumor often appears in the legs or arms, but it can develop in other parts of the body. An enlarging painless mass may develop in tumors of soft tissues; fractures may occur in cases involving bone. Other common symptoms include fever, weight loss, and low blood sugar.

What Is Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma?

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is a rare condition in which there is a tumor of the bone or soft tissues. The disease is the most common soft tissue cancer that is diagnosed in older adults, and is often diagnosed in people between the ages of 50 and 70.
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma usually appears in the legs or the arms; however, cases have developed in the:
  • Abdomen
  • Lungs
  • Muscles
  • Kidneys.

Causes and Risk Factors

No one knows the exact cause or causes of malignant fibrous histiocytoma; however, research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop the condition. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chances of developing a disease.
Examples of risk factors for malignant fibrous histiocytoma include:
  • Having previously undergone radiation treatment for cancer
  • Having a history of Paget's disease
  • Having a history of sickle cell disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, or multiple myeloma.

Symptoms of Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma

While an enlarging painless mass is a common symptom seen with the soft tissue type of malignant fibrous histiocytoma, a fracture can be the first sign when the disease affects bone. Symptoms may vary, depending on the location and size of the tumor.
Examples of common malignant fibrous histiocytoma symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood sugar.
The symptoms discussed here are not sure signs of the disease. Other, less serious health problems can also cause these symptoms. People who have possible malignant fibrous histiocytoma symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible -- only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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