Clonus is a rare disorder characterized by the presence of multiple small tumors (clones) on various parts of the body. The clones are usually found in one or two areas, but they may be present throughout the body. Most commonly, cloned tumors are found on the face and scalp, although other locations have been reported such as the eyes and testicles.
The tumors are often very hard, firm, and noncancerous. They are usually not painful. Occasionally, they may cause swelling or pain when touched. There is no cure for this condition; however, there are treatments available to help control them.
These include surgery to remove the tumor(s), radiation therapy to destroy the tumor(s), chemotherapy drugs that kill cancer cells in the body, and/or medications used to treat other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Symptoms of Clonus
Most patients with cloned tumors do not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it is usually due to a large number of tumors in the body. Most patients report experiencing symptoms related to the location of the cloned tumors such as a nonpainful swelling or redness of the skin. In addition, patients may experience fatigue or shortness of breath as cloned tumors can cause fluid to build up in the chest.
How is Clonus Treated?
Treatment for clonus will vary based on the number and location of tumors and the size of each mass. If surgery is necessary to remove a tumor, the patient will typically undergo either an open or keyhole procedure. The goal of either procedure is to remove as much of the tumor as possible while keeping as much skin as possible. In the case that part of the skin is not able to be saved, a skin graft will be necessary in order to prevent an open wound.
If radiation therapy is needed to kill the tumor(s), the patient will receive between 2 and 5 sessions of radiation, each lasting 5 to 7 days. Chemotherapy may also be used to shrink the tumors. The number of chemotherapy sessions will vary but will be given once a day for 5 days in a row.
When clonus occurs in only one part of the body, such as the neck, treatment options are different than if it occurs in many areas of the body. In cases where just one area is affected, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy may also be necessary depending on the size and location of the tumor.
After treatment, patients will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the cloned tumors are no longer growing. If all goes well, the tumors should stop growing and further treatment will not be needed.
If cloned tumors recur after initial treatment, there are other available treatment options such as surgery, radiation therapy, or medication. Checkups by a medical doctor are necessary to follow the clonus over time.
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