Leiomyosarcoma Specialists – A State by State Guide
Because Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is such a rare condition, with only a few thousand cases being diagnosed each year, there is not a widespread network of healthcare professionals available to take the cases that do arise. Instead, there is a solid network of hospitals and cancer treatment centers with groups specializing in Leiomyosarcoma treatment programs.
However, the first steps in an official diagnosis will not be done at a cancer treatment center. Instead, the process most often begins with a patient visiting a regular physician or gynecologist due to an ongoing health concern. The symptoms of LMS can be so mild as to allow the disease to spread before it is even detected. Typically, a patient goes to their physician with a list of symptoms and complaints, and this triggers the process by which the LMS is eventually diagnosed.
According to the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation a, “Doctor will take a complete medical history to check for any risk factors and to ask you about symptoms, as well as any other medical conditions. They will also examine you for signs of sarcomas and other health problems.” (NLMSF.org, 2015) After that you will have to have various tests done to determine if you do indeed have LMS, and what stage it is at.
Treatment varies based on the location and stage of your condition, and the preferred approach is surgical excision (removal) of any local tumors – if possible. When it is not, you will then be treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation in addition to any pharmaceutical options.
What this means is that you may not work with just a single specialist. You may need to work with a surgical oncologist, thoracic expert, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, a rehabilitative specialist, and so on. However, the first key step is the location of any sarcoma, its staging, and then the design of your treatment. Because of that, you will need to work with a specialist team experienced in LMS.
How to Find a Leiomyosarcoma Specialist
As already indicated, there is not a broad network of them in many locations. Most patients have to travel to the nearest or most appropriate hospital or cancer treatment center. The Sarcoma Alliance has a complete list of the Sarcoma Centers in the United States, and these do appear in almost all 50 states. The site also has an international listing, too. The list is found here.
For patients in search of an oncologist with whom to begin the process of diagnosis or to start to develop a treatment plan once LMS has been detected, the American Medical Association offers up a powerful search engine by physician specialty. You can search generally by state but also by city and zip code in order to locate the oncologists (cancer specialists) nearest to your hometown. The search engine is found here. Use the “Search by physician specialty” engine and choose their “Oncology (Cancer)” specialty to begin a search.
You can also just skip right to the most well known LMS hospitals and cancer treatment centers. These are not in all 50 states, but you may get in touch with any of them to find out more about treatment options and providers in your area.
Cedars Sinai Sarcoma Program – Los Angeles, CA
Columbia Presbyterian Sarcoma Program – New York, NY
Dana Farber Cancer Institute DFCI – Boston, Massachusetts
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Philadelphia, PA
Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital – Philadelphia, PA
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center MDACC – Houston, TX
Massachusetts General Hospital MGH – Boston, MA
Mayo Clinic – Florida
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center MSKCC – New York, NY
Menorah Medical Center’s Sarcoma Institute – Overland Park, KS
Roswell Park Cancer Institute– Buffalo, NY
Sarcoma Oncology Center – Santa Monica, CA
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance – Seattle, WA
The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center – Cleveland, OH
The Washington Musculoskeletal Tumor Center – Washington Cancer Institute, Georgetown University, Washington DC
University of California Los Angeles Sarcoma Program – Los Angeles, CA
University of Miami Sarcoma Group – Miami, FL
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center – Ann Arbor, MI
University of Minnesota Cancer Center – Minneapolis, MN
University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute Sarcoma Service – Salt Lake City, UT
There are many specialists in the U.S. and abroad, and these lists should be able to help you locate those within your area.
SarcomaAlliance.org. Map of Sarcoma Centers. 2015. http://sarcomaalliance.org/sarcoma-centers/map-sarcoma-centers/