Posted September 14, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read

A sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer. Sarcomas are different from the much more common carcinomas because they happen in a different kind of tissue. Sarcomas grow in connective tissue cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body.

Causes Of Sarcoma

We don’t yet know what causes sarcoma, but we do know some things that raise the risk of developing one:

  • Other people in your family have had sarcoma

  • You have a bone disorder called Paget’s disease

  • You have a genetic disorder such as neurofibromatosis, Gardner syndrome, retinoblastoma, or Li-Fraumeni syndrome

  • You’re been exposed to radiation, perhaps during treatment for an earlier cancer

Symptoms of Sarcoma

  • Soft tissue sarcomas are hard to spot, because they can grow anywhere in your body.
  • Most often, the first sign is a painless lump.
  • As the lump gets bigger, it might press against nerves or muscles and make you uncomfortable or give you trouble breathing, or both.
  • There are no tests that can find these tumors before they cause symptoms that you notice.

Osteosarcoma can show obvious early symptoms, including:

  • Pain off and on in the affected bone, which may be worse at night

  • Swelling, which often starts weeks after the pain

  • A limp, if the sarcoma is in your leg

Diagnosis of Sarcoma

If your doctor thinks you may have a sarcoma, you’ll probably need a full exam and tests, including:

  • A sample of cells from the tumor, called a biopsy

  • Imaging tests, such as a CT scan, an ultrasound, or an MRI, to help see inside your body

  • A bone scan, if you might have osteosarcoma

Treatments of Sarcoma

  • How your sarcoma is treated depends on what type you have, where in your body it is, how developed it is, and whether or not it has spread to other parts of your body, or metastasized.

  • Surgery takes the tumor out of your body.

  • In most cases of osteosarcoma, the doctor can remove just the cancer cells, and you won’t need your arm or leg removed, too.

  • Radiation can shrink the tumor before surgery or kill cancer cells that are left after surgery.

  • It could be the main treatment, if surgery isn’t an option.

  • Chemotherapydrugs can also be used with or instead of surgery.

  • Chemo is often the first treatment when the cancer has spread.

  • Targeted therapies are newer treatments that use drugs or man made versions of antibodies from the immune system to block the growth of cancer cells while leaving normal cells undamaged.

diseases disorders sarcoma cancers

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