Desmoid tumor

Also known as: Aggressive fibromatosis

What is desmoid tumor?

A desmoid tumor in one that frequently arises in muscles (often abdominal wall and shoulder -legs and arms also may be affected), however can also come from tissues, tendons, and ligaments. It's a relatively uncommon tumor which tends to occur in children (boys and girls equally), and young adults. They are locally fast (aggressively) growing, often invading adjacent muscle and organs and frequently present in families who have polyps (finger-like growths) in the large bowel (colon).
 

What causes desmoid tumor?

The exact cause of desmoid tumors is unknown, though there may be a genetic or hormonal component to the disease. Sometimes they grow after injury or surgery.
 

What are the signs and symptoms of desmoid tumor?

Desmoid tumors often cause no symptoms. On limbs they feel like firm, smooth, mobile tumors. As they grow, they can lead to pain due to compressed muscles and nerves. In the abdomen, they can lead to obstruction of the bowel, and problems from infiltration of organs, nerves or blood vessels.
 

What are desmoid tumor care options?

If the tumor can be observed, followed, and is non-symptomatic some physicians may elect  to observe it over time. Others believe surgery to remove the tumor is the treatment of choice.
Other times, particularly if local recurrences occur radiation therapy or medications such as chemotherapy can be used to shrink the tumors and make them less disruptive.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/23/2018 11:06:17 AM

From the Newsdesk

September Patient of the Month: Mateo
When Mateo was just two years old, his parents were shocked to discover that their toddler developed leukemia. They met with the hematology and oncology specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and began a treatment protocol that brought Mateo back to health—along with some entertainment from his spirited little sister! Mateo, now 10, is a healthy, typical kid who loves running around with his friends.
September Patient of the Month: Mateo
When Mateo was just two years old, his parents were shocked to discover that their toddler developed leukemia. They met with the hematology and oncology specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and began a treatment protocol that brought Mateo back to health—along with some entertainment from his spirited little sister! Mateo, now 10, is a healthy, typical kid who loves running around with his friends.