Malignant fibrous histiocytoma

Also known as: MFH, soft tissue sarcoma, pleomorphic sarcoma

What is malignant fibrous histiocytoma?

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) is a rare form of cancer in children known as a soft tissue sarcoma. These are tumors that affect muscle, bone or cartilage, or tissues that support/connect other organs. The most common areas where a MFH mass occurs are on the legs or arms, though it can be found anywhere in the body.

What causes malignant fibrous histiocytoma?

The cause of MFH is not entirely clear. Exposure to certain chemicals or radiation may play a role in the development of the cancer. There also appears to be a genetic component to the disease.

What are the symptoms of malignant fibrous histiocytoma?

The tumors typically grow for a long time before presenting any symptoms. The first thing one may notice is a painless lump in the area where the cancer is growing. As it increases in size, it might cause pain by pressing on a nerve or muscle, or even cause difficulty with movement if it affects the joints. If it spreads to other parts of the body, for example, the lungs, difficulty breathing, may result.

What are malignant fibrous histiocytoma care options?

Surgery to remove the tumor is the primary treatment for MFH whenever possible. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also often needed in order to kill cancer that has spread beyond the tumor and keep it from coming back.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 10/31/2017 11:52:11 AM

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