Myxofibrosarcoma is the cancer of connective tissue. It is a slow growing cancer generally found in patients over 50 years of age. The tissue affected by myxofibrosarcoma is the connective tissue, specifically the tissues that separate muscles from the skin. Various factors increase the risk of the development of this disease.
Generally found in the arms and legs, myxofibrosarcoma is a type of slow-growing cancer of the soft tissue. The condition is generally present in the connective tissue. The connectives tissue that separates the muscles from the skin is most commonly affected. Myxofibrosarcoma may be present deeper into the tissues or more superficially just below the skin. More than half of the myxofibrosarcoma is found just below the skin. The patient may feel a slowly growing mass usually without pain. Sometimes, myxofibrosarcoma may also have their presence on the back and chest, and neck region. The tumor present just below the skin is made of a number of nodules while tumor present deep into the skin is a single mass2.
What Causes You To Have Myxofibrosarcoma?
Although the exact cause of myxofibrosarcoma is not known various risk factors increase the incidences of the condition. Detailed information about the disease is not available as this condition was initially kept in another form of sarcoma and recently distinguishing feature of the disease from other soft tissue sarcoma has been identified. The person who is at high risk of developing such cancer should try to reduce the risk. As myxofibrosarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma, thus the risk factors are almost similar to the other tissue sarcoma. Following are the risk factor for myxofibrosarcoma or other soft tissue sarcomas;
Age: Age is one of the important factors in determining the risk of developing myxofibrosarcoma. The condition is generally found in the people with age more than 50 years1. Patients with age less than 20 years are rare to have myxofibrosarcoma.
Radiation Exposure: Exposure to high energy radiations also increases the incidences of myxofibrosarcoma. People with prior history of treating cancer through radiation therapy are at increased risk of developing the condition. Also, patient with prolonged exposure to harmful radiation may also increase the risk of myxofibrosarcoma. The condition can be developed within 5-30 years after the patient received radiation therapy1.
Genetic Factor: Genetic factors also increases the risk of developing myxofibrosarcoma. Myxofibrosarcoma may be caused due to genetic defects in the patient. These defects can be due to various reasons. The exact process of gene deletion in myxofibrosarcoma is not known but it has been found that in some of the cases of myxofibrosarcoma, gene mutation and gene deletions are similar to those occurring in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)2. Mutation and deletion of this particular type of gene result in the development of various skin disorders and it may be possible that this gene may also have an effect on the development of myxofibrosarcoma.
Sex: Although myxofibrosarcoma is the condition impacts both male and female, however, statistics indicate that male is slightly at higher risk of developing this condition as compared to female3.
Chemical Exposure: Exposure to various carcinogenic chemicals increases the risk of development of myxofibrosarcoma. The person may get in contact with these chemicals either through his occupation or due to exposure in the environment without any particular reason. Major carcinogenic chemicals include arsenic, dioxin, and vinyl chloride4. Dioxin is generated when the household and industrial wastes are burnt. Vinyl chloride is used in various industries such as automobile, pipe, kitchenware, and coatings on the wire. People working in these industries are at higher risk of developing myxofibrosarcoma.
Like many other cancers, the exact cause of myxofibrosarcoma is not known. Various factors may have an impact on the initiation and development of this cancer. The condition is found in elderly people and males are slightly more vulnerable. Radiation and chemical exposure as well as a genetic factor also increase risk.