About Sarcoma Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is sarcoma?
Sarcoma is derived from the Greek word ‘sarx’ which means flesh. Sarcomas are cancerous tumors of the connective tissues. Connective tissues include blood vessels, nerves, fat, cartilage, bones, deep skin tissues, and muscles. Sarcoma is rare cancer.How many types of sarcomas are there?
There are two main types of sarcomas namely soft tissue sarcomas and bone sarcomas. They all exhibit the same symptoms and share some microscopic characteristics.
- Soft tissues sarcoma: Because of this it is very important to see a specialist once you have been diagnosed. This type of cancer can occur in the tendons, blood vessels, muscles, fat synovial and fibrous tissues. They can spread to surrounding tissue and even further to other organs.
- Bone sarcoma: This type of sarcoma is also called osteosarcoma.
Although it is sometimes not clear why some people develop sarcomas, the following are some of the factors that increase the risks of developing sarcomas.
- Exposure to high doses of radiation
- Exposure to a chemical found in herbicides and wood preservatives
- A family history of sarcomas
- You suffer a bone disorder called Paget’s disease
- Osteosarcoma is more common in children than adults and can sometimes be mistaken for growing pains.Soft tissue sarcoma presents as a small painless lump. With time, the lump becomes bigger. It might make you uncomfortable as it presses against muscles or nerves. With time, it also becomes sore and painful.
- Bone sarcoma presents as off and on pain in the affected bone.
- Swelling which starts weeks after the pain
- You might exhibit a limp if the sarcoma is in the leg
- Biopsy: Soft tissue can only be diagnosed through surgical biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure used to remove a small sample of tissue for further examination under a microscope.
- Imaging tests: these include a CT (computed tomography) scan, an ultrasound or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) which helps the doctor to see inside your body.
- Bone scan: If you have bone sarcoma you may be required to get a bone scan.
Choice of which method of treatment to use or if to combine several is determined by the size, location, severity and growth rate of the tumor
- Surgery: Soft tissue sarcomas are mainly treated with surgery.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs can be used or even combined with surgery.
- Radiotherapy: This can be used to shrink the tumor before the surgery. It can also be used to kill any remaining cancer cells after the surgery has been performed. It could also be the only treatment, especially if surgery is not an option.
- Targeted therapy: This is a new treatment that uses drugs or artificial antibodies to block the growth of cancer cells while it leaves healthy cells unharmed.
Although sarcomas are quite rare, they are treatable. You should discuss with a specialist the options you have and which one you feel bests fits you.
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