What is Leiomyosarcoma of the Vagina?
Leiomyosarcoma of the vagina is an exceptionally rare and aggressive form of cancer that originates from the smooth muscle cells in the vaginal tissue. This cancer is a type of soft tissue sarcoma, which predominantly grow in connective tissues like muscles, tendons, and fat. In the case of leiomyosarcoma, the cancer cells arise from smooth muscle cells, but its manifestation in the vagina is especially rare, accounting for less than 2% of all vaginal cancers. These tumours usually present as noticeable masses in the vagina, causing symptoms like abnormal vaginal bleeding, discomfort or pain during intercourse, and a feeling of pressure in the pelvic area.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
The precise cause of leiomyosarcoma of the vagina is currently unknown. Researchers suspect that certain genetic mutations in smooth muscle cells might trigger the development of this cancer. A possible association with exposure to specific strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) has been suggested in some studies, but there’s no definitive proof linking HPV to this disease. Uniquely, leiomyosarcoma doesn’t appear to develop from pre-existing benign conditions, making it difficult to anticipate or prevent.
Diagnosing leiomyosarcoma of the vagina often involves several steps:
- A comprehensive medical history and physical examination
- Imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, and PET scan to locate and size the tumour
- A biopsy of the tumour, typically through a procedure called a colposcopy, to confirm the diagnosis
Treatment for leiomyosarcoma of the vagina typically involves a multimodal approach:
- Surgery: This is usually the first-line treatment and aims to remove all of the cancerous tissue.
- Radiation Therapy: May be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Used in some cases in conjunction with surgery and/or radiation therapy.
What Support can we Give for Leiomyosarcoma of the Vagina?
Leiomyosarcoma of the Vagina is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Leiomyosarcoma of the Vagina, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: