So, because the tissue keeping you together is all over, sarcomas can get going wherever. Yet, they’re most frequently found in the limbs, since that’s where the bulk of what connects you together is located.
Finding sarcoma in an adult is rare. But it accounts for about a fifth of all childhood cancers.
There are two categories of sarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma and non-soft tissue sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas are named according to where the cancer originates, for instance:
- fatty tissue ~ liposarcoma
- smooth muscle ~ leiomyosarcoma
- synovial tissue ~ synovial sarcoma
- lymph vessels ~ lymphangiosarcoma
- peripheral nerve ~neurofibrosarcoma
- skeletal muscle ~ rhabdomyosarcoma
- blood vessels ~ hemangiosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma
- fibrous tissue ~ fibrosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, dermatofibrosarcoma
In its early phase, a soft tissue sarcoma usually doesn’t produce symptoms. As your tumor grows, it may cause a lump, swelling or localized pain if a nerve or muscle is bothered.
A metastatic sarcoma can invade surrounding tissue or spread to other organs, forming secondary tumors. These derivative tumors are similar to those of the initial cancer. Thus, a metastatic sarcoma is not a new cancer because it strews from somewhere else.
Depending on the type of sarcoma cancer you have and whether it has metastasized, your health care team may use a combination of treatments, such as:
In the past, limb amputation was standard treatment. Today, it is sidestepped whenever possible.
Want additional health info on sarcoma? National Cancer Institute and Sarcoma Foundation of America are two accommodating resources on the matter.