Leiomyosarcoma, General

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
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Synonyms

  • None

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Leiomyosarcoma is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that arises from smooth muscle tissue. There are essentially two types of muscles in the body: voluntary and involuntary. Smooth muscles are involuntary muscles; the brain has no conscious control over them. Smooth muscles react involuntarily in response to various stimuli. For example, smooth muscle that lines the walls of the digestive tract causes wave-like contractions (peristalsis) that aid in the digestion and transport of food. Smooth muscles in the salivary glands cause the glands to squirt saliva into the mouth in response to taking a bite of food. Smooth muscle in the skin causes goose bumps to form in response to cold.

Leiomyosarcoma is a form of cancer. The term “cancer” refers to a group of diseases characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled cellular growth that invades surrounding tissues and may spread (metastasize) to distant bodily tissues or organs via the bloodstream, the lymphatic system, or other means. Different forms of cancer, including leiomyosarcomas, may be classified based upon the cell type involved, the specific nature of the malignancy, and the disease’s clinical course.

Since smooth muscle is found all over the body, a leiomyosarcoma can form almost anywhere including the gastrointestinal tract, heart, liver, pancreas, genitourinary tract, the space behind the abdominal cavity (retroperitoneum), uterus, skin, and the walls of blood vessels. The gastrointestinal tract and the uterus are the most common locations for a leiomyosarcoma. Approximately 50 percent of leiomyosarcomas occur in the gastrointestinal tract.

Leiomyosarcoma is classified as a soft tissue sarcoma. Sarcomas are malignant tumors that arise from the connective tissue, which connects, supports and surrounds various structures and organs in the body. Soft tissue includes fat, muscle, never, tendons, tissue surrounding the joints (synovial tissue), and blood and lymph vessels. The exact cause of leiomyosarcoma, including uterine leiomyosarcoma, is unknown.

Resources

American Cancer Society, Inc.
1599 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
USA
Tel: 4043203333
Tel: 8002272345
www.cancer.org

National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Blvd, MSC 8322, Room 3036A
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
USA
Tel: 3014353848
Tel: 8004226237
TDD: 8003328615
www.cancer.gov

National Cancer Information Center
514 10th Street NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (301)929-8243
Tel: (800)227-2345

OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Resource
3400 Spruce Street
2 Donner
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
USA
Tel: 2153495445
Fax: 2153495445
Email: editors@oncolink.upenn.edu
www.oncolink.upenn.edu

Sarcoma Foundation of America
PO Box 458
9884 Main Street
Damascus, MD 20872
USA
Tel: 3012538690
Fax: 3012538690
Email: info@curesarcoma.org
www.curesarcoma.org

Sarcoma Alliance
775 E. Blithedale #334
Mill Valley, CA 94941
USA
Tel: 4153817236
Fax: 4153817235
Email: info@sarcomaalliance.org
www.sarcomaalliance.org

Rare Cancer Alliance
1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614
USA
Tel: 5206255495
Fax: 6155264921
Email: sharon.lane@rare-cancer.org
www.rare-cancer.org

BeatSarcoma
143 28th Street
Suite 4
San Francisco, CA 94131
Tel: (415)651-4473
Email: info@beatsarcoma.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD’s resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated: 1/28/2008
Copyright 2008National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.