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Leiomyosarcoma of the Colon and Rectum

Overview of Colorectal Leiomyosarcoma


Updated: February 12, 2007

Cancerous tumors of connective tissue are called "sarcomas." Cartilage, fat, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and bones are all considered connective tissue. Sarcomas are further divided into two groups: bone tumors and soft tissue sarcomas. We'll be discussing soft tissue sarcomas, specifically leiomyosarcomas, which occur in the colon.

Definition of Leiomyosarcoma

"Leio-" means "smooth" and "myo-" means "muscle." So, "leiomyosarcoma" literally means a cancer of smooth muscle. The colon has three layers of this type of muscle, which work together to move waste through the digestive tract.

Symptoms of Leiomyosarcoma

Symptoms of leiomyosarcoma include bleeding and pain. The average age at diagnosis is 60 and early detection is crucial since leiomyosarcomas metastasize in more than half of patients.

Incidence of Leiomyosarcoma

Leiomyosarcomas are extremely uncommon and account for less than two percent of all colorectal cancers.

Other Types of Colorectal Cancer: Sources:
  1. Education: What is Sarcoma? Sarcoma Alliance. 5 Jul. 2006 [http://www.sarcomaalliance.com/master.html?ArticleId=90].
  2. Fallahzadeh, H. "Leiomyosarcoma of Colon: Report of Two Cases." The American Surgeon 61.4 (Apr. 1995): 294-296. PubMed. 5 Jul. 2006 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7893089&dopt=Abstract].
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