Recurrent Desmoid Tumors

John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear Oncolink:  
Is it possible for an extra abdominal desmoid in the leg to recur five times? Have you ever heard of this happening?

Kenneth Blank, MD and John Han-Chih Chang, MD, Editorial Assistants for Oncolink, respond:

Thank you for your question.  
Desmoid tumors are also called aggressive fibromatosis. These tumors never metastasize (spread to other parts of the body) but are known to be very locally aggressive. Surgery is the treatment of choice but even after radical resection in which the surgeon takes wide margins around the visible tumor, these tumors can come back. For this reason, radiotherapy is often recommended following surgery.

We are not personally aware of a patient with a history of five recurrences but given the local aggressive nature of these tumors it is not surprising.