Malignant Tumor of Smooth Muscle: Signs, Prevention and Treatments

The malignant tumor of the smooth muscles also known as Leiomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that begins in smooth muscle tissue. Leiomyosarcoma is considered a soft tissue sarcoma.

The smooth muscles are found in the hollow organs of the body which include the intestines, stomach, bladder, and blood vessels also there is also smooth muscle in the uterus of a female.

A malignant tumor of smooth muscle cells can occur almost anywhere in the body, but then this tumor is most common in the uterus, abdomen, or pelvis.

Smooth muscles are involuntary muscles therefore the brain has no conscious control over them.

The Smooth muscles react involuntarily in response to different stimuli. Leiomyosarcoma is a form of cancer and may be classified based on the cell type involved, the malignancy nature, and the disease’s clinical course.

Leiomyosarcoma affects men and women, but it occurs more often in women.

However, the condition can develop in people of any age, it’s more common in people over the age of 50.

Malignant soft tissue tumors known as sarcomas are cancerous tumors formed in the connective tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, fat, and cartilage.

Cancer can be referred to as a group of diseases characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled proliferation of cells that invades the surrounding tissues and may metastasize which is spread to other sites in the body through the bloodstream, the lymphatic system, or through other means.

Types of malignant tumors of the smooth muscles (Leiomyosarcoma)

There are three different types of Leiomyosarcoma.

1. Somatic Soft Tissue Leiomyosarcoma

This type of Leiomyosarcoma is associated with connective tissue as it only affects the body’s connective tissues. It’s the most common form of Leiomyosarcoma.

2. Cutaneous or subcutaneous Leiomyosarcoma.

This is a rare type of Leiomyosarcoma, which affects the piloerector muscles in the skin. Piloerectors are located in your skin and eyes and are responsible for the dilation of the pupils and goosebumps.

3. Vascular Leiomyosarcoma

This is the rarest type of Leiomyosarcoma which has a vascular origin and develops in major blood vessels like the pulmonary artery, the vena cava, and peripheral arteries.

Signs & Symptoms of malignant tumor of the smooth muscles (Leiomyosarcoma)

Leiomyosarcoma, especially in the early stages may not be associated with some obvious symptoms. However, as the tumor grows some people may experience certain signs associated with cancer such as

  1. Fatigue
  2. Fever,
  3. Weight loss,
  4. A general feeling of ill health (malaise),
  5. Pain,
  6. Tiredness,
  7. Abdominal bloating,
  8. Nausea and vomiting.

Leiomyosarcoma in your digestive system may be associated with symptoms such as;

  • Abdominal pain,
  • Black stools,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Nausea/vomiting.

Uterine Leiomyosarcoma may be associated with;

  • Vaginal discharge,
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during period,
  • Frequent urination.

Causes of malignant tumor of the smooth muscles (Leiomyosarcoma)

Science expert hasn’t been able to determine the exact cause of Leiomyosarcoma. It could be hereditary from the altered genes of your parents or it could be because of some changes in your genes that have caused the cells to grow out of control. Leiomyosarcoma may also occur as a result of

  1. Past exposure to radiation therapy.
  2. Exposure to certain harmful chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides

Treatment of malignant tumor of the smooth muscles (Leiomyosarcoma)

The treatment of Leiomyosarcoma depends on the size and location of the tumor. However, one of these may be recommended:

1. Surgery.

When Leiomyosarcoma occurs where surgery is possible, then it could be the best treatment option for Leiomyosarcoma. As its aim would be to evacuate the entire tumor so that the cancer doesn’t come back.

2. Chemotherapy.

This chemotherapy treatment is usually recommended when the tumor has spread to other parts of the body or when it is too large.

3. Radiation therapy.

This treatment may be recommended before surgery to help shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any cancer cells left.

Side Effect of Malignant Smooth Muscles Tumor Treatment(Leiomyosarcoma)

Oftentimes, people who undergo Leiomyosarcoma treatments experience some side effects which may depend specifically on the type of treatment they receive:

Surgery

Those who underwent surgery, you might experience some side effects such as;

  • Infection,
  • Blood clots,
  • Heavy bleeding,
  • Pain,
  • Allergic reactions to the anesthesia.

Chemotherapy

People who received chemotherapy treatment often times experience side effects such as;

  • Tiredness,
  • Infection,
  • Increased tendency to bruise,
  • Hair loss,
  • Anemia,
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Constipation,
  • Weight changes,
  • Problems with fertility,
  • Mood changes,
  • Changes in your sexual desire or sexual functions.

Radiation therapy

For radiation therapy patients, the side effects may include;

  • Tiredness.
  • Nausea.
  • Dry or itchy skin.

Prevention of Malignant Smooth Muscle Tumor( Leiomyosarcoma)

There is no known way to prevent Leiomyosarcoma as of now. But the risk can be reduced by avoiding risk factors whenever possible. The known Leiomyosarcoma risk factors may include:

  1. Radiation exposure.
  2. Certain viral infections, such as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8).
  3. Tamoxifen is commonly used for the treatment of breast cancer.

FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between Leiomyosarcoma and leiomyoma?

Leiomyoma is a benign i.e non-cancerous fibroid that occurs in the smooth muscles. While they can be problematic, Leiomyoma does not metastasize to other areas of the body. However, Leiomyosarcoma is cancer and can metastasize throughout the body.

Q: How is Leiomyosarcoma diagnosed?

If you notice some symptoms that suggest Leiomyosarcoma, you may be required to undergo some tests which may include:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scans.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • PET scan.
  • Angiography.

Q: How long does it take to recover from Leiomyosarcoma treatment?

Recovery times usually vary depending on various factors which include the type of treatment received and the patient’s body’s healing capacity.

  1. It could take several weeks to several months for a patient to fully recover. And regular checkups would still be necessary even after feeling better, to help monitor your health and reduce the risk of cancer returning.
Egbujor Victor Chinedu
He Is Just A Pro Blogger Who Invests his time in Blogging and Web Designing ... Student, Writer...

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