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Leiomyosarcoma is a very rare, but very treatable cancer. It is a type of soft tissue sarcoma that grows in muscle tissue. In children, it usually grows in the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach, small intestines, colon, appendix, rectum and anus. It can be difficult to detect because the tumor may be covered by other structures, such as skeletal muscle.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for children with childhood leiomyosarcoma in our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors Program.
Types of childhood leiomyosarcoma include:
The exact cause of childhood leiomyosarcoma is not entirely understood, but studies suggest that genetics may play a role in the formation of all soft tissue sarcomas. In addition:
Because soft tissue sarcomas affect tissue that is elastic and easily moved, a tumor may exist for a long time before being discovered, growing large and pushing aside surrounding tissue. Symptoms vary greatly with the size, location, and spread of the tumor, but may include:
Surgery to remove the tumor is the primary treatment for childhood leimyosarcoma, sometimes followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy to destroy any cancer cells that may have spread beyond the tumor, and to prevent a recurrence.
Please refer to childhood soft tissue sarcomas for additional information about diagnosis, treatment, and care that your child will receive from our experienced clinicians.
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