Everything about Spindle Cell Sarcoma of the Uterus

Sarcomas are a kind of malignant tumors that arise from mesenchymal tissues. They are composed of various groups of cancer cells with specific clinical, radiographic and histologic appearances. They are named according to the type of normal cell they closely resemble.

Spindle Cell Sarcomas

From its name, you can easily distinguish it from other types of sarcoma. It is a type of sarcoma that is composed of spindle-shaped cells. Researchers believe that spindle cell sarcoma comes from smooth muscle cells that line the blood vessels. However, they said that such cancers can still arise directly from the internal organs like the GI tract and the uterus.

Smooth muscles are spindle type cells that are not controlled by the body. They act involuntarily and thus, perform their function without the person’s will. They are usually found in the walls of visceral organs like the stomach and the heart, and as well as in the blood vessels’ walls all throughout the body.

This is the reason why spindle cell sarcomas can arise anywhere in the body. The most common sites are the uterus, stomach and the limbs.

Spindle Cell Sarcoma of the Uterus

Uterine sarcomas are rare tumors which account for 1% of genital tract malignancies of females. Uterine spindle cell sarcoma is a type of uterine sarcoma that is formed by spindle-shaped cells. They may derive from the smooth muscle cells that line the blood vessels of the uterus or smooth muscle cells that directly surround the uterus. There are many types of uterine sarcomas and the most common one is the leiomyosarcoma.

Causes and Predilection

The exact cause of uterine spindle cell sarcoma is still unknown. However, researchers notice that it is more common to women that are 40 years old or older.

Excessive exposure to radiation therapy (due to treatment of other cancer) may also cause a woman to have spindle cell sarcoma uterus. Adding up, usual contact with certain chemicals such as vinyl chloride, dioxins and herbicides may also add to the risk of having this kind of sarcoma.

Signs and Symptoms

Early detection of the cancer is not common because in the early stage, spindle cell sarcoma uterus doesn’t present any symptoms. However, diagnosed patients show these symptoms:

  • Swelling in the pelvic area
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Palpable pelvic mass
  • Abnormal bleeding of the vagina (after menopause period)

The presence of these symptoms may be a sign of uterine sarcoma that is why it is important to have a talk with your personal doctor. However, these symptoms may also be due to other factors.

Treatment

The usual treatment for uterine sarcomas is complete surgical removal of the tumor, if it is possible. After that, your doctor may suggest to have radiotherapy so as to decrease the chance of the recurrence of the cancer.

If the sarcoma has already spread, chemotherapy is suggested as a treatment. Adding up, it is also used as prevention for the sarcoma to come back.