8 Things Everyone Should Know About Sarcoma
Sarcomas are cancers of the bone and connective tissue.
Only 1% of adult cancers in the U.S. are sarcoma. Due to its rarity, many physicians have limited experience with treating sarcoma.
Breast cancer 268k/year
Lung cancer 234k/year
Prostate cancer 164k/year
It's more common in children.
While only 1% of adult cancers are sarcoma, at least 10% of childhood cancers are sarcoma.
It's found in soft tissue or bone.
Soft tissue sarcomas occur in tissues such as muscles, fat, blood vessels, tendons, and fibrous tissues. Osteosarcomas, Ewing's sarcoma, and chondrosarcoma occur within bone.
Sarcoma is more commonly found in certain areas of the body:
There are over 50 types.
The variations are often named for the tissue type in which they form. Treatment options will vary depending on type, so an individualized treatment plan is crucial.
It's often misdiagnosed.
Due to the rarity, numerous variations and occurrence in multiple locations, sarcomas can be difficult to detect and complex to treat. Patients should seek a sarcoma center of excellence.
There are warning signs.
Any lump or bump:
- Enlarging over time
- Involving deep tissue
- Presenting with or without pain
Unexplained pain or tenderness:
- Occurring at night
- Persisting when resting
Treatment depends on size, type and location of tumor. The most common treatments are:
Targeted drug therapy
The 5-year relative survival rate is 65%.
Patients tend to have better outcomes when treated at a sarcoma center of excellence.
Sources: MayoClinic.org; Cancer.org; ReinInSarcoma.org; SarcomaAlliance.org; Cancer.gov.