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Dr. Riedel Discusses the Rarity of Uterine Sarcomas

Richard F. Riedel, MD
Published: Wednesday, Sep 05, 2018



Richard F. Riedel, MD, associate professor of medicine, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses the rarity and characteristics of uterine sarcomas.

The presentations of the disease are varied, but one of the most common symptoms is abnormal bleeding, or what is known as menorrhagia. Riedel says this could result in an evaluation and the detection of a mass. Oftentimes, uterine sarcomas can be misdiagnosed as a uterine fibroid. It is not until the mass is removed that the cancer is actually identified.

The biggest challenge lies in the rarity of the disease. Sarcomas as a whole represent about 1% of cancers in adults, and uterine sarcomas represent about 5% of all uterine cancers. Essentially, 99% of the time, a uterine mass will be benign as opposed to sarcoma, which Riedel says can mislead physicians at times. The symptoms are also sometimes nonspecific.


Richard F. Riedel, MD, associate professor of medicine, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses the rarity and characteristics of uterine sarcomas.

The presentations of the disease are varied, but one of the most common symptoms is abnormal bleeding, or what is known as menorrhagia. Riedel says this could result in an evaluation and the detection of a mass. Oftentimes, uterine sarcomas can be misdiagnosed as a uterine fibroid. It is not until the mass is removed that the cancer is actually identified.

The biggest challenge lies in the rarity of the disease. Sarcomas as a whole represent about 1% of cancers in adults, and uterine sarcomas represent about 5% of all uterine cancers. Essentially, 99% of the time, a uterine mass will be benign as opposed to sarcoma, which Riedel says can mislead physicians at times. The symptoms are also sometimes nonspecific.

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