FITNESS AND WELLNESS
“Leiomyosarcoma? What’s that?” I asked myself, when my daughter was diagnosed with Peritoneal LMS eight years ago.
Leiomyosarcoma, or LMS, is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that appears only in the soft tissue of the body. It has the ability to form in blood vessels, since it appears in the involuntary muscles in any location of the body. Instead of traveling through the lymphatic system, it travels through the blood stream.
It is difficult for a physician to establish the original site, since leiomyosarcoma’s original cause is hard to determine. My daughter’s visit to the doctor was completely void of the suspicion of LMS. She had a pain in her right side. Thinking it was gall bladder, her physician did an ultrasound. Upon receiving the results, we found that Ann had Leiomyosarcoma in the left side of her abdomen and would need surgery, possibly with removal of her adrenal gland and kidney. The tumor was the size of a small grapefruit, predicting possible Stage 3 or 4.
Once the cancer is diagnosed, the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation recommended finding a top sarcoma center. Our daughter was fortunate to choose such a center and a surgeon who was familiar with LMS and sarcomas. Though Ann is waiting for the results of her eight-year scan, I am anxious until I hear she is still clear.
Leiomyosarcoma is an insidious cancer. Though rare, lives are taken by it. As an active NLMSF member, I meet and hear about too many who suffer and don’t make it. There is no one treatment that can be used, because each case is so different.