written by Michael
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The word sarcoma is derived from the Greek "sarc" (fleshy) and "oma" (tumor). Sarcomas come in two varieties being "Soft Tissue" and Bone/Cartilage. Soft tissue sarcomas comprise of 0.5% of all new cancer cases in the US each year although they constitute 6.5% of all childhood cancers under the age of 15 years.
Leiomyosarcomas account for about 7% of all soft tissue tumors. The word Leiomyosarcoma literally means smooth muscle fleshy tumor. Leiomyosarcomas are further broken down into retroperitoneal / intraabdominal, cutaneous/subcutaneous, and vascular groups.
The vascular group are rare, primarily effect females and involve medium to major blood vessels, commonly the vena cava.
Leiomyosarcoma of the Gastro Intestinal Tract is now referred to as GIST. A new drug is in clinical trials at the moment called STI571 that is having dramatic effects on GIST.
Leiomyosarcoma is commonly referred to as LMS.
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