Leiomyosarcoma Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of leiomyosarcoma?

Because soft tissue sarcomas affect tissue that is elastic and easily moved, a tumor may exist for a long time before being discovered, growing large and pushing aside surrounding tissue. Symptoms vary greatly with the size, location and spread of the tumor, but may include:

  • painless swelling or mass anywhere on the body
  • pain or soreness caused by compressed nerves or muscles
  • limping or other difficulty using the legs, feet, arms or hands

If a child has leiomyosarcoma, usually the symptoms do not appear until adolescence, since it usually occurs in adults.

What causes leiomyosarcoma?

The exact cause of leiomyosarcoma is not entirely understood. However, studies have indicated that genetics may play a role in the formation of all soft tissue sarcomas. In addition:

  • Limited studies have shown a possible link between soft tissue sarcomas and the development of other types of cancer.
  • Some inherited diseases have also been linked with an increased risk of developing soft tissue sarcomas.
  • There seems to be a link between leiomyosarcoma and Epstein-Barr virus infection.
  • Children with AIDS and those who are undergoing immunosuppression therapy for solid organ transplantation are also at increased risk for developing leiomyosarcoma.
  • Children with other forms of cancer, such as retinoblastoma, may be at higher risk for developing leiomyosarcoma as adults.