Desmoid Tumors

What are Desmoid Tumors?

Desmoid tumors are rare and usually benign soft tissue neoplasms that most often occur in the abdomen. They grow slowly but can invade and damage nearby organs, nerves, and vessels.Outcome is variable and difficult to predict.

Desmoid tumors are made up of collagen-producing cells. They typically occur following an injury, spontaneously, or less commonly after surgery or radiation therapy. This tumor is seen mainly in middle-aged adults, women more than men.

What are the Symptoms of Desmoid Tumors?

Most people with desmoid tumors have no physical symptoms. Others may have:

  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • Swelling in the affected area
  • A feeling of fullness in the affected area
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

Diagnosis and Treatment of Desmoid Tumors

To diagnose desmoid tumors, healthcare providers may use imaging tests such as an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan, and/or X-ray. Patients may also undergo a biopsy of a tumor to be examined by a pathologist to confirm diagnosis.

Treatment options for desmoid tumors include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, or a combination of these. Surgery is usually the first treatment and may be combined with radiation or chemotherapy. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiation may be used alone.

Living with Desmoid Tumors

Living with desmoid tumors can be difficult and overwhelming. It is important to stay connected with your healthcare team and to be informed about your treatment and follow-up care. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider for support, as well as additional resources and support groups for those living with desmoid tumors.