National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Leiomyosarcoma is not the name you expected.
Leiomyosarcoma is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that arises from smooth muscle Cells 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 body sites 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. Leiomyosa usually spreads via the bloodstream. It is very rare to see it in lymphatics.
Since smooth muscle is found all over the body, a leiomyosarcoma can form almost anywhere where there are blood vessels, heart, liver, pancreas, genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract, the space behind the abdominal cavity (retroperitoneum), uterus, skin. The uterus is the most common location for a leiomyosarcoma. Most leiomyosarcomas of the gastrointestinal tract are now reclassified as gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST - see below)
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, nerves, tendons, and blood and lymph vessels. The exact cause of leiomyosarcoma, including uterine leiomyosarcoma, is unknown.
American Cancer Society, Inc.
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National Cancer Institute
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Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Resource
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
Sarcoma Foundation of America
9899 Main Street Ste 204
Damascus, MD 20872
775 E. Blithedale #334
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Rare Cancer Alliance
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Green Valley, AZ 85614
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
76 Ellsworth Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Northwest Sarcoma Foundation
P.O. Box 91460
Portland, OR 97291
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Last Updated: 9/4/2012
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