Leiomyosarcoma Treatment – Surgery
Leiomyosarcoma is a malignant, or cancerous, smooth muscle tumor. It arises from mesenchymal cell lines.
Leiomyosarcoma is a relatively rare type of cancer, which accounts for between five and ten percent of soft tissue sarcomas, which are in themselves quite rare. Leiomyosarcoma accounts for less than one percent of all cancers.
Leiomyosarcoma is a particularly aggressive and unpredictable form of cancer – it sometimes lies dormant for years, before reoccuring. And unfortunately, leiomyosarcoma is highly resistant to treament – both radition and chemotherapry tend to have scant success.
The best hope for leiomyosarcoma patients is surgery, with wide margins and while the cell is still in situ, or in its initial position. If surgical margins are not wide enough and tumors remain or were missed, then radiation and chemotherapy can provide some survival benefit.
Leiomyosarcomas of the uterus frequently (although not always) respond well to hormone treatments.
Where Does Leiomyosarcoma Occur?
Leiomyosarcoma can be present throughout the body, as it affects smooth muscles, which are part of the involuntary muslces. Involuntary muscles are present in places such as the uterus, stomach and intestines, as well as the walls of blood vessels and the skin.
Signs You Might Have Leiomyosarcoma
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, most patients are diagnosed after displaying the following symptoms:
- Lumps or swelling
- Abdominal discomfort or bloating
- Swelling or pain in any area of the body
- Vaginal bleeding from women who have gone through menopause
- A change in periods for women who have not gone through menopause
Types of Leiomyosarcoma
Leiomyosarcoma is classified based on which part of the body it is found.
- Uterine leiomyosarcomas occur in the smooth muscle in the muscle layer of the uterus.
- Cutaneous leiomyosarcomas are located in the pilo-erector muscles in the skin.
- Gastrointestinal leiomyosarcomas can occur in blood vessels as well as the smooth muscle of the intestinal tract.
There are many other types of leiomyosarcoma. When it occurs in other parts of the body than those listed above, its primary site of origin is typically a blood vessel.
According to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, if you require treatment for leiomyosarcoma, you are well advised to have the treatment performed in a specialized center with an expertise in sarcoma.
A treatment team with multiple specialties will be required. This team will undertake a process which includes:
- A multidisciplinary review of your medical history
- Any necessary radiographic imaging to supplement what is already available
- A biopsy (for pathologic results)
- The formulation of a treatment plan
Leiomyosarcoma Treatment Plans
A treatment plan is typically developed with input from a variety of medical specialists, including:
- Orthopedic and general surgeons
- Muscoloskeletal radiologists
- Medical oncologists
- Radition oncologists
When Surgery Is Performed
Surgery for leiomyosarcoma consists of surgical resection, ideally with the largest surgical margins possible in order to prevent local recurrence. Radiographic and pathologic information is used prior to surgery in order to achieve the largest surgical margins possible.
As mentioned, leiomyosarcoma is a particularly aggressive form of cancer, and multiple studies have confirmed high morbidity rates. Of five published case studies, between 77 percent and 93 percent of leiomyosarcoma patients ultimately died from leiomyosarcoma.
Do you believe that your doctor missed signs of leiomyosarcoma and caught it after it was too late to do anything? Do you believe that your surgeon missed tumors he should have caught or did not leave a wide enough surgical margin, when a larger one was medically possible? Were there any other lapses in medical care that you believe contributed to the worsening of your condition?
If so, you or your loved ones might have a medical malpractice case. Call our office for a free consultation to discuss your case and potential causes of action. Legal medical malpractice action not only protects your interests, but also the interest of current and future leiomyosarcoma patients.