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The Truth About Desmoid Tumors

Desmoid tumors grow in the connective or fibrous tissue of your body. These tissues form your ligaments and tendons in midsection, neck, head, legs and arms. This rare type of tumor has many names including the aggressive fibromatosis but it is considered as benign. This means that it does not spread or metastasize on your other body parts.

Symptoms Of Desmoid Tumors

The most common symptom that you have this tumor is pain. The other signs that you may experience vary depending on its size and its location of growth. For example, you may encounter constipation when the tumor is in the intra-abdominal area or midsection. It may also cause difficulty of arm and leg movement plus limping if it affects your legs and arms. You may also encounter some swelling or lump which does not cause any pain. If there is soreness or pain, this is often caused by the compression of your nerves or muscles.

Is This Type Of Tumor Hereditary?

Some can be inherited but most are sporadic. If inherited, it most often appears in people who have a family health history of having colon cancer. If a member of your family was diagnosed of this, your risks may be higher. You are more prone to developing intra-abdominal tumors.

However, there are also cases when the condition is not inherited but sporadic. Its development can be due to a genetic mutation that occurs during your lifetime. This can be a somatic mutation in your CTNNB1 gene which provides the instructions for your body to create the beta catenin protein. The mutation can also be in the APC gene which is responsible for regulating the beta catenin levels in your cells.

How Are Desmoid Tumors Diagnosed?

Imaging tests. This may involve the use of ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT). These will reveal if you do have a tumor, if it has grown and spread to the nearby organs and if there are any more small internal abnormalities caused by the tumor.

Biopsy. This may call for surgery so a biopsy sample can be taken. Tissue is gathered then examined in a laboratory. If the tumor is small, the surgeon may just remove it during your biopsy.

Desmoid Tumors and Treatment

The most common or the primary treatment to cure this is surgery. However, this may need to be performed several times because  this tumor has the tendency to be recurrent. Continuous monitoring and follow up check up may also be required.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.