Diseases & Conditions


Leiomyosarcoma, General

Synonyms of Leiomyosarcoma, General
  • No synonyms found

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No synonyms found

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.

Organizations related to Leiomyosarcoma, General
  • American Cancer Society, Inc.
    1599 Clifton Road NE
    Atlanta GA 30329
    Phone #: 404-320-3333
    800 #: 800-227-2345
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: http://www.cancer.org
  • BeatSarcoma
    143 28th Street
    San Francisco CA 94131
    Phone #: 415-651-4473
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: N/A
  • National Cancer Information Center
    514 10th Street NW
    Washington DC 20004
    Phone #: 301-929-8243
    800 #: 800-227-2345
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: N/A
  • National Cancer Institute
    6116 Executive Blvd, MSC 8322, Room 3036A
    Bethesda MD 20892-8322
    Phone #: 301-435-3848
    800 #: 800-422-6237
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: http://www.cancer.gov
  • OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Resource
    3400 Spruce Street
    Philadelphia PA 19104-4283
    Phone #: 215-349-5445
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu
  • Rare Cancer Alliance
    1649 North Pacana Way
    Green Valley AZ 85614
    Phone #: 520-625-5495
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.rare-cancer.org
  • Sarcoma Alliance
    775 E. Blithedale #334
    Mill Valley CA 94941
    Phone #: 415-381-7236
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.sarcomaalliance.org
  • Sarcoma Foundation of America
    9884 Main Street
    Damascus MD 20872
    Phone #: 301-253-8687
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.curesarcoma.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 http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html