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National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
- aggressive fibromatosis
- deep fibromatosis
- grade I fibrosarcoma
- musculoaponeurotic fibromatosis
- nonmetastasizing fibrosarcoma
Desmoid tumor commonly develops in the fibrous (connective) tissue of the body that forms tendons and ligaments, usually in the arms, legs or midsection, and also in the head and neck. These tissues of the body connect, support, and surround other body parts and organs. The myofibroblast is the cell considered to be responsible for the development of desmoid tumor. Regardless of its scientific classification, a desmoid tumor can be invasive to surrounding tissues and difficult to control. Desmoid tumors can develop virtually at any body site. Superficial desmoids tend to be less aggressive than deep desmoids (abdominal, extra abdominal, mesenteric). These tumors look like dense scar tissue and just like scar tissue, they adhere tenaciously to surrounding structures and organs, and, thus they are commonly difficult to remove. Surgery has been the traditional main mode of therapy for desmoid tumors but up to 20-50% of these tumors recur after surgery.
The Greek word "desmos" which means tendon or band like has been the origin of the term desmoid and was coined by Muller in 1838. Desmoid tumor is called an aggressive fibromatosis as it has similarities with a malignant (cancerous) tumor called fibrosarcoma. However, it is considered benign because it does not metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.
American Cancer Society, Inc.
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Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation
P.O. Box 273
Suffern, NY 10901
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Last Updated: 8/28/2012
Copyright 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.