All The Information You Need Concerning
Leiomyosarcoma And Power Morcellators

Leiomyosarcoma Treatment – Radiation Therapy

You have been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. And your doctors have recommended radiation.

How does radiation work, and what are its side effects? This post will review this information, as well as provide a general overview of leiomyosarcoma and inform you of your legal rights if you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice.

As we will cover below, leiomyosarcoma is largely resistant to radiation and chemotherapy, but these options can be effective as a complement to surgery.

How Does Radiation Work?

According to a leiomyosarcoma radiation guide, radiation works by producing double-stranded breaks in DNA in order to kill a cell – and in turn the cancer. Mammalian cells have a high capacity to repair single-strand damage, necessitating the double break.

Radiation can also interact with water, which composes about 80 percent of cells, to generate free radicals that will damage the cell. (Free radicals are highly reactive chemical entities that lack a stable number of outer-cell electrons, which means that these cells are unstable and have life spans the fraction of a second.)

What Types of Radiation Treatments are Used to Treat Leiomyosarcoma?

There are two types of radiation, internal and external.

External radiation consists of beams of high-energy rays, and/or neutrons, protons and electrons. With external radiation, the goal is to get a high dose of radiation to your tumor without damaging normal tissue.

With internal radiation, the radioactive material is stored within thin wire, catheter or a tube, and is then placed as close as possible to the cancer cells. This offers a higher amount of radiation in a shorter amount of time than external radiation, and the implants can be removed after a time or left in permanently.

What Is Leiomyosarcoma?

Leiomyosarcoma is a cancerous smooth muscle tumor which arises from mesenchymal cell lines.

Although leiomyosarcoma accounts for less than one percent of cancers, its morbidity rate is high, with between 77 and 93 patients in five separate studies of the cancer ultimately dying from leiomyosarcoma.

Leiomyosarcoma can occur all over the body, but tends to appear in the uterus, the pilo-erector muscles of skin, blood vessels and the smooth muscle of the intestinal tract.

What Are the Symptoms of Leiomyosarcoma?

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, most patients are diagnosed after displaying the following symptoms:

  • Bloating or abdominal discomfort
  • Pain or swelling in any area of the body
  • Lumps or swelling
  • Vaginal bleeding for postmenopausal women
  • Changes in the periods of premenopausal women

Is Radiation My Only Option?

No – radiation is not your only option. In fact, chemotherapy and radiation have been shown to be largely futile in combating leiomyosarcoma on their own. The most effective way to treat leiomyosarcoma is surgery to remove the tumor(s), with a wide surgical margin to prevent local reoccurrence.

There are several situations in which your doctor might recommend radiation – in addition to surgery, in order to eliminate tumors that were missed or have begun to appear after surgery, or instead of surgery, if surgery is not possible.

Was I the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you believe that your doctor missed the signs of leiomyosarcoma and left it too long to treat effectively, you or your loved ones may have a medical malpractice claim. This cause of action might arise as the result of a botched surgery, as well, if you have reason to believe that your surgeon failed to remove all of your tumors or provide a large enough surgical margin (where one was possible) to prevent reoccurrence.

If you have any reason to believe that you were a victim of medical malpractice, please call us for a free consultation. You are entitled to reimbursement, and your legal action could result in saved lives or better prognoses for current and future leiomyosarcoma patients.