A Fox Chase Women's Cancer Center Program

Soft Tissue Sarcomas/Uterine Sarcoma

What is Uterine Sarcoma?

Between 800 to 1,600 American women will be diagnosed with uterine sarcoma this year.

Uterine sarcoma, also called leiomyosarcoma, is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the muscles of the uterus or other tissues that support the uterus. Being exposed to X-rays can affect the risk of developing uterine sarcoma. Possible symptoms of uterine sarcoma include abnormal bleeding.

More than 40,000 American women will be diagnosed with cancer of the uterus this year; however, almost all of these cases will be endometrial cancers. Uterine sarcomas, including carcinosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas and endometrial stromal sarcomas, make up about 2-4% of uterine cancers, which translates to between 800 to 1,600 American women diagnosed with uterine sarcoma this year.

Treatment Options for Uterine Sarcoma

Surgery (hysterectomy) is generally the initial treatment for uterine sarcoma. Surgeons often perform hysterectomies using robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. Following surgery, you may receive chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or radiation therapy to destroy any cancerous cells that remain.

Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic Surgery

da Vinci® robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is offered for cancers requiring the removal of the uterus (partial hysterectomy), uterus and cervix (total hysterectomy), fallopian tubes and/or ovaries (may be removed as part of hysterectomy or separately). da Vinci also can be used to help determine the stage of the cancer.

Not all patients are appropriate candidates for minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. It is generally best suited for women under the age of 70, who have not had prior pelvic radiation or surgery.

Treating Advanced Uterine Sarcoma

For patients with advanced disease that has spread (and cannot be removed surgically), Fox Chase gynecological oncologists offer standard chemotherapy or clinical trials. For patients with early stage leiomyosarcoma that has been surgically removed, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be used to decrease the chance of recurrence (the cancer coming back).

[3/3/2014]

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