A desmoid tumor is an abnormal growth formed from the connective tissue that supports muscles, ligaments, organs, and bones throughout the body. Desmoid tumors occur in one or two of every 500,000 people worldwide, with between 900 and 1,500 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. Desmoid tumors are benign, which means they are not cancerous, but nor are they completely harmless.
People usually have only one desmoid tumor, although multiple tumors can develop. The tumors can form almost anywhere in the body, but they are most common in the abdominal region, in the tissue along the abdominal wall. Intra-abdominal desmoid tumors form within connective tissues between abdominal organs. Experts refer to desmoid tumors anywhere else in the body as extra-abdominal. The shoulders, head, neck, upper legs, and upper arms are the most common sites outside of the abdominal region.
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