WHAT IS LEIOMYOSARCOMA (LMS)
Leiomyosarcoma is a type of cancer caused by the transformation of the smooth-muscle cells. Usually, it affects the tissue of the uterus, intestines, bladder, stomach, and skin. This type of cancer accounts for up to 10% of all sarcomas and is found mainly in people over 50 years of age. Although, leiomyosarcoma can develop at any age.
Genetic changes, injuries, exposure to certain chemicals (dioxins, herbicides, etc.), as well as radiation treatment for other cancers, may be contributing factors to soft tissue sarcoma.
Treatment of LMS depends on its stage and the general health of the patient. Highly differentiated leiomyosarcoma (stage I) rarely metastases and has the best prognosis. The treatment is often limited to the surgical removal of the tumor. In the medium-differentiated and poorly-differentiated type (stage II, III), radiotherapy or chemotherapy is added, since the tumor can metastasize, for example, to the lungs.
SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE
The symptoms that leiomyosarcoma produces depend on its localization. Some people experience no discomfort or symptoms similar to other diseases: bloating, tiredness, nausea, fever, weight loss or swelling under the skin. With a stomach or intestine leiomyosarcoma the patient may experience:
If the tumor has affected uterine tissue, vaginal bleeding between periods is common. And in the case of skin leiomyosarcoma, the patient may have nodules or plaques that are hypersensitive or painful to touch.
LEIOMYOSARCOMA DIAGNOSTICS ABROAD
First up, the doctor examines the patient, asks about symptoms and analyzes the results of previous tests. Afterward, the patient undergoes a series of diagnostic tests, which includes:
A medical council analyzes the results. During the discussion, doctors agree upon the diagnosis and design an individual treatment regimen based on the tumor’s location, speed of growth, the patient’s age and health.
HOW IS LEIOMYOSARCOMA TREATED ABROAD
Physical removal of the tumor is the main method of LMS treatment. The surgeon resects the tumor and some healthy tissue around it. For uterine leiomyosarcoma, the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries may be removed, if the tumor has spread to them. With LMS of the skin, the doctor removes the tumor and up to two centimeters of nearby healthy tissue. And in the case of bowel leiomyosarcoma, the surgeon resects the affected part of the intestine and the nearby lymph nodes. The cell samples are then sent for histological analysis. The difference between surgical treatment abroad and in the developing countries is the use of laparoscopic methods with minimal interference with the body. During such surgeries, the instrument is injected through small incisions (up to 2 cm).
In the case of LMS, radiotherapy is used as an additional treatment and is prescribed before or after the surgery. With the help of radiation therapy, it is possible to reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgery or to prevent a relapse. For uterine LMS radiotherapy is prescribed as prevention of pelvic metastases. In the case of large skin lesions (>5 cm), radiation therapy is used before the surgery to reduce the size of the tumor.
Chemotherapy is most often used to treat metastatic leiomyosarcomas (stages 2 and 3) or tumor recurrence. The selection of a combination of drugs is individual and based on the reaction of cancer cells to drugs.
This method involves the use of drugs that activate the patient's immune system to combat cancer cells. Immunotherapy, unlike chemotherapy, does not harm healthy cells of the body and is better tolerated by patients. It is, however, not suitable for everyone.
SOFT TISSUE LEIOMYOSARCOMA TREATMENT PROGNOSIS
The success of treatment depends on the patient’s age, the stage, size, degree of malignancy of the tumor. Time is one of the strongest factors. The earlier the tumor is detected, the higher the probability of recovery. On average, the five-year survival rate of patients with the first stage LMS is over 60%. This percentage decreases significantly if the patient is over 60 years old or if the tumor is large (>5 cm).
WHERE IS LEIOMYOSARCOMA TREATED ABROAD
To get qualified help, foreign patients should consider clinics with specialized sarcoma departments. Such medical centers can be found in Spain, South Korea, Turkey, Austria, and Israel. Specialists from MediGlobus have compiled a list of hospitals where leiomyosarcoma is treated:
PRICE OF LEIOMYOSARCOMA TREATMENT ABROAD
The cost of therapy is calculated individually for each patient. The price is influenced by the prestige of the clinic, the qualifications of the attending doctors, the stage of the disease, the location of the tumor, as well as the duration of the hospitalization. The estimated price range for leiomyosarcoma treatment abroad:
|Procedure ||Price |
|Surgery ||from $17,000 to 24,000 |
|Radiotherapy ||from $6,000 to 12,000 |
|Chemotherapy ||from $1,500 to 3,500 |
|Immunotherapy ||from $4,000 to 8,000 |
For more information on the prices or conditions of the leiomyosarcoma treatment, please contact your Mediglobus coordinator. Our specialists will give you a free consultation, arrange your medical trip and accompany you through all stages of treatment.
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