Fariba Navid, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC, gives an overview of Desmoid tumors.

As Dr. Navid explains in the video, Desmoid tumors are benign tumors that can grow anywhere on the body into surrounding healthy tissues, including joints, muscle, and viscera. These rare tumors can cause significant pain, internal bleeding, and reduced mobility. The pain, according to Dr. Navid, is the most common reason patients reach out to their doctors for diagnosis and treatment.

Currently, the most common course of action for Desmoid tumors is to “wait and watch” as these tumors can shrink on their own. Surgery to remove the tumors may also be used. However, as Dr. Navid says, surgery is not always ideal. Systemic therapies are currently in development. 

Though Desmoid tumors are typically sporadic and do not run in families, about 10% of people who get Desmoid tumors have Gardner syndrome. Gardner syndrome is caused by a mutation of the APC gene and often involves benign growths in the colon. Dr. Navid warns physicians to be aware that those with Gardner syndrome may develop Desmoid tumors as a first sign and that these individuals are at high risk for developing colon cancer.

For more information about Desmoid tumors and other rare tumors, visit checkrare.com/cancers/