Sarcoma is a rare cancer that develops in the connective tissues: muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.
Retroperitoneal sarcomas occur in the retroperitoneum. The retroperitoneum is deep in the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis, behind the abdominal lining, where organs such as the major blood vessels, kidneys, pancreas and bladder are located.
The main types of sarcoma that occur in the retroperitoneum are:
- Liposarcoma – cancer of the fatty tissues
- Leiomyosarcoma – cancer of the involuntary muscle
- Other less common types in the retroperitoneum include solitary fibrous tumor, pleomorphic sarcoma, malignant nerve sheath tumor, synovial sarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.
Symptoms of retroperitoneal sarcomas can vary depending on the size and location of your tumor. They may include:
- A noticeable lump in the abdomen
- Increase in abdominal girth
- Dull pain in the abdomen or back
- Intense abdominal pain with bleeding
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