How do I know if I have abdominal and retroperitoneal sarcomas

Abdominal sarcomas are white tissue sarcomas that can originate from muscle, nerve, fibrous and adipose tissues, as well as blood vessels. And retroperitoneal sarcomas are tumors that originate in the back part of the abdominal cavity.

But in general, sarcomas are a type of tumor that occur very infrequently. In fact, they represent 1% of cancers, so they have a very low incidence.

Treatment of abdominal and retroperitoneal sarcomas

For the treatment of non-metastatic sarcomas, surgery is the most appropriate technique, by which the tumor can be removed without risk of rupture and with a sufficiently wide margin of healthy tissue around it. In this way, the risk of local relapse can be reduced.

In any case, surgery should be performed by an expert sarcoma surgeon, because in this case, it is possible to improve the survival of patients suffering from abdominal and retroperitoneal sarcomas.

In this sense, radiotherapy can be a complement to surgery, especially when the tumor is voluminous, deep located and of high grade.

On the other hand, in some cases, chemotherapy treatment can be performed prior to surgery, when the tumor has a high volume, an unfavorable location and a high aggressiveness. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce the size of the tumor in order to facilitate surgical removal.

Symptoms of abdominal and retroperitoneal sarcomas

It is very common that when sarcomas originate in the abdominal and retroperitoneal area the patient does not feel any symptoms until the tumor has reached a large size.

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Even so, there are a number of common symptoms, such as the following:

  • Bleeding: In retroperitoneal tumors bleeding may occur, in the form of bloody or black and viscous stools.
  • Increased abdominal girth: In very large tumors a lump may appear, which can be palpated in the abdomen.
  • Pain: The lump that appears may be painful, although it is usually painless at first. The pain may be caused by the growth of the tumor itself or by involvement of other nearby structures.

On the other hand, there are also general symptoms that may appear with the evolution of the tumor or when it has metastasized:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Fever
  • Anemia