Learn about this rare cancer that begins in smooth muscle tissue. Leiomyosarcoma treatments include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Leiomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that begins in smooth muscle tissue. Smooth muscle tissue is found in many areas of the body, such as the digestive system, urinary system, blood vessels and uterus.
Leiomyosarcoma most often begins in the abdomen or uterus. It starts as a growth of abnormal cells and often grows quickly to invade and destroy normal body tissue.
Signs and symptoms of leiomyosarcoma depend on where the cancer starts. They might include pain, weight loss, and a growing lump or swelling that can be felt through the skin.
Leiomyosarcoma is a type of soft tissue sarcoma, which is a broad category of cancers that begin in the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose leiomyosarcoma depend on where the cancer occurs, but may include:
Removing a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). A biopsy procedure involves removing a sample of suspicious tissue for testing. The sample is sent to a lab where it's analyzed to see if it's leiomyosarcoma.
How the biopsy sample is collected depends on where the suspicious tissue is located. The procedure requires careful planning so that the biopsy is done in a way that won't interfere with future surgery to remove the cancer. For this reason, ask your doctor for a referral to a team of experts with experience in treating leiomyosarcoma.
Which treatments are likely to be most effective for you depend on the location and size of your leiomyosarcoma, as well as whether it has spread to other areas of your body. Your doctor also considers your overall health and your preferences when creating a treatment plan.
In general, treatments for leiomyosarcoma may include: