Desmoplastic tumors

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a very aggressive cancer that occurs in the abdomen. It usually occurs in the form of multiple masses and can spread very fast to the other parts. This cancer affects the lymph nodes and the walls of pelvis and abdomen.

However, there are many treatment options which can cure the cancer affectively. Know the symptoms and get diagnosed in early stages because DSRCT is a dangerous type of cancer which is mostly resistant to the treatment and may come back even after the treatment.

Causes

Usually, cancers, including DSRTC are caused due to the mutations in the DNA (changes in the DNA structure). These mutations lead to the abnormal division of the cells producing a large number of abnormal cells. However, the exact cause of these mutations is not known.

Symptoms

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor usually does not produce symptoms in the early stage. The first sign is the formation of a hard mass in the abdomen which grows very large before the patient can identify it. The patient also feels pain in the abdomen. The other signals include:

  • Swelling of the abdomen (abdominal distention)

  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)

  • Fluid in the abdomen (ascites)

  • Back pain

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

  • Gastrointestinal blockage

  • Anemia

  • Thyroid and other hormonal problems

It is a good idea to consult a doctor if you notice the above symptoms as they may indicate that you or your child might be having DSRCT.

Risk factors

The below patients are at an increased risk for desmoplastic small round cell tumor

Age:Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is more common in young children but may also occur in people of any age group.

Gender:Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is more common in men compared to women.

As the condition is rare, it is mostly misdiagnosed.

If you have symptoms that signal DSRCT, your doctor will examine you and take a medical and family history. One or more of the below tests are performed to check if you have DSRCT and if it has spread.

Test type

Purpose of the test

Biopsy

It is always needed to confirm the diagnosis of DSRCT. It involves the removal of tissue from the tumor which is examined for cancer-related specific changes under the microscope.

Imaging tests (CT, MRI, PET)

These tests give the extent of cancer and if it has spread to the other structures.

Below treatment options are available to treat desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT)

Surgery: This is the first line treatment for DSRCT and is very successful. It involves the removal of the tumor by an operation.

Chemotherapy: Some of the desmoplastic tumors respond to chemotherapy, but most of them relapse. Chemotherapy is used in patients for whom surgery is not effective to remove the tumor. These drugs are given in low-dose as a long-term therapy.

Radiotherapy: Using high-energy radio waves, the cancer cells are destroyed without damaging the healthy cells.

Targeted therapy: In this technique, certain medications are used which specifically target cancer-specific genetic material of the cells helping your body to fight the disease.

Other methods such as embolization and chemoembolization are available which kill the cancer cells by cutting down the circulation.

Coping up with the condition is quite difficult for the patients with cancer. Therefore, care takers should be more helpful in providing emotional support to the patient.

The patient should take healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables regularly. Additionally, legumes, grains, cereals, low-fat foods should be taken.