Myxofibrosarcoma or MFS is a type of soft tissue cancer where the proliferation of the cancer cells usually happens in the connective tissues including the bones, cartilage and fat that render a structure and forms protection around the organs. MFS often found even in the arm or leg and may look like a small lump. As the lump grows in size, it exudes intense pain. Myxofibrosarcoma is quite a rare form of cancer, making up only 2 per cent of all cancer diagnoses.
Myxofibrosarcoma may either develop in the connective tissues just underneath the skin, or it may be seen in deeper connective tissues surrounding the muscles. Being an aggressive form of cancer, MFS rapidly metastasizes to other parts of the body, affecting vital organs. Unlike other forms of cancer, Myxofibrosarcoma tends to recur or grow back even after complete treatment.
Just like other types of cancer, the specific cause of Myxofibrosarcoma is yet unknown. However, studies indicate that it usually happens when there are certain modifications or mutations in the cellular material, i.e., the DNA of the connective tissue cells, that consistently make the cells grow abnormally without dying and causing them to accumulate leading to cancerous growths.
Some causative factors that increase the risk of Myxofibrosarcoma include:
Age: Although it can get diagnosed in people of different age groups, it is mostly noticed in older adults.
Previous Cancer Treatments: People who have received radiation therapy for any other type of cancer are more at risk of getting MFS as well.
Exposure To Chemicals: Long-term susceptibility to toxic chemicals like vinyl chloride increases the risk of developing this type of cancer.
Lymphatic Damage: Suffering from an illness that has caused lymphatic damage heightens the risk of MFS.
Family History: People who have a family history of soft tissue sarcoma or other forms of cancer are more inclined to develop MFS.
Myxofibrosarcoma usually does not showcase any characteristic symptoms in the initial stage. Symptoms in the advanced stage include:
- An obvious lump or swelling under the skin tissue
- Intense pain, if the tumour presses on any nerves or muscles
Diagnosis And Treatment
If you discover any of the above-mentioned signs or symptoms, do discuss them with a doctor right away to get examined and treated at the earliest. The doctor primarily does a thorough physical check-up to detect any lumps or masses on the fatty areas of the body to know if it hurts, affirms the patient’s past medical history and susceptibility to any treatments and conducts some diagnostics. These include:
- Imaging techniques including CT-scan, MRI-scan, X-ray, and Ultrasound are done to check the size of the tumour and look for indications in case the cancer has spread to other parts of the body
- Biopsy to double check the presence of cancer and it’s type
The accessible treatment options mainly depend on the location, size of the tumour, the stage it is in and the overall health and capacity of the patient. This includes:
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials