What Are Desmoid Tumors? Its Symptoms And Treatment Options

Desmoid tumors are tumors that develop in the fibrous tissue found in the various tendons and ligaments. Desmoid tumors are more frequently observed in the midsection, arms and legs, but may also occur around the neck and the head. This condition is also considered to be an aggressive form of fibromatosis, but is usually benign in nature and doesn’t spread to other parts of the body.

Desmoid tumors intertwine and adhere with other surrounding organs and structures, which makes it difficult to be managed. Various treatment options are currently tested in order to manage this condition. Two of the key treatment options that are being tested include the use of angiogenesis inhibitors which prevent the growth of the tumors by blocking the growth of blood vessels and use of chemotherapy drugs.

The exact cause is not clearly understood, however there are reports that suggest desmoid tumors are frequently observed in patients with polyposis coli history, which is a form of hereditary colon cancer complex.

Symptoms Of Desmoid Tumor

Unfortunately since these tumors affect elastic tissue, they are usually not discovered until they grow very large and get intertwined with surround tissue and interfere with mobility.

Some of the common symptoms associated with desmoid tumors include,

  • Presence of lump or swelling around the tissue which is usually painless in nature.
  • Pressure on the surrounding nerves and muscles can cause pain and interfere with the ability of an individual to move his arms and legs.
  • Pressure on internal organs like the bowels can result in pain and obstruction of the bowels which is manifested in the form of symptoms like obstinate constipation.

Since most of the symptoms associated with the condition resemble other medical conditions, it is vital to conduct a host of tests like MRI scans and X ray imaging in order to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment can be initiated only after the condition has been identified.

Treatment Options For Desmoid Tumors

The treatment regimen comprises of short term and long term management. The short term management primarily focuses on alleviating the symptoms and improving joint mobility while long term management which focuses on regular follow up, evaluation and counseling.

While contemporary medicine focuses on the use of combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery for the control and management of the tumor, there are certain alternative therapy options that might prove beneficial, when used in conjunction with contemporary medicine,

  • Homeopathic drugs namely Gelsemium and Phytollaca are considered useful in the treatment of benign tumors affecting the locomotor system. These medications should be taken in low potency and should be repeated over four times each day.
  • Consume at least 20 grams of turmeric each day. Turmeric contains anti-cancer agents which help in preventing the multiplication of tumors cells. Turmeric can be consumed by adding it to a glass of warm milk with a tablespoon of honey. Note that small quantities of turmeric used for seasoning purposes are not adequate for management of tumor growths.

In addition patient and family education about the condition is very important in order to cope with the condition. Occasionally genetic counseling may be provided, since some experts believe that there is some form of familial linkage in the development of this condition. Finally regular psychological assessment and counseling may be provided in order to check of depression and distress.

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