Desmoid Tumor | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is a Desmoid tumor diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical and physical examination, the most conclusive diagnostic procedure for Desmoid tumor is a biopsy, a tissue sample from the tumor taken through a simple surgical procedure.

What is the treatment for a Desmoid tumor?

Treatment depends on the extent of the problem and your child's overall health and medical history.

Treatment your doctor recommends may include:

  • Surgery: Surgical removal of your child's tumor by a surgeon is the primary treatment; and because Desmoid tumor rarely metastasizes, surgery alone is often the only treatment. However, Desmoid tumors often return, so sometimes more than one surgery is needed.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: Given to help manage pain and swelling. In some cases these medications will cause the tumor to slowly shrink.
  • Radiation therapy: Using high-energy rays (radiation) from a specialized machine to damage or kill cancer cells and shrink tumors; radiation is used alone or in conjunction with surgery.
  • Hormone therapy: Because some hormones seem to increase the growth of Desmoid tumors, anti-hormonal medications are sometimes used in treatment.
  • Chemotherapy: If surgeons are unable to remove your child's tumor because of the size or location, researchers are testing some types of chemotherapy to reduce the tumor.

What is the long-term outlook for children with Desmoid tumors?

The prognosis for patients with Desmoid tumors depends on how aggressively the tumors grow and whether they compress organs such as the intestines, kidneys, lungs or blood vessels. More aggressive Desmoid tumors can be fatal.