Desmoid Tumors

1 What are Desmoid Tumors?

Desmoid tumors are noncancerous growths that occur in the connective tissue. They mostly occur in the abdomen, arm and legs. These tumors can grow to the point that they may affect surrounding tissues. Treatments consists of surgery to remove the tumors.

2 Symptoms

Symptoms of desmoid tumors may include:

  • Painless swelling or lump
  • Obstruction of the intestines
  • Pain or soreness caused by compressed nerves or muscles
  • Limping when the tumor occurs in the legs

Desmoid tumors usually exist for some time before being diagnosed, this is because they develop in flexible tissue such as tendons and ligaments.

3 Causes

The exact cause of Desmoid tumors is unknown.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests for Desmoid tumors include:

  • A tissue biopsy for lab investigation,
  • Imaging tests, such as CT scan, PET scan ,MRI and ultrasound to view if the tumor has spread to other tissues.

5 Treatment

Treatment options for desmoid tumors include surgery to remove the tumor and radiation therapy and chemotherapy to kill tumor cells.

In radiation therapy powerful energy beams, such as X-rays are used to kill tumor cells while in chemotherapy medications to kill tumor cells.

Hormone therapy may also be used as a treatment for Desmoid tumors. Anti-inflammatory drugs might also be given to patients for pain management.

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