A Sarcoma is a type of cancer that originates in the cells of mesenchymal (connective tissue) origin. The main types of sarcomas are: bone and soft tissue sarcomas.What is a bone sarcoma?
Sarcomas that start in bones are known as osteosarcomas, and sarcomas which are most often seen in children, are the Ewing Sarcomas or the Ewing Family of Tumours.What is a soft tissue sarcoma?
As the name suggests, these are tumours, which can develop in soft tissues like muscle, fibrous tissue or fat surrounding joints, blood vessel, or deep skin tissues. They can develop in any part of the body. Most soft tissue sarcomas start in the arms or legs but can also be seen in the head and neck area, trunk, in the internal organs and in the area behind the abdominal cavity. Based on the type of tissue they start in, there are many types of soft tissue sarcomas, some of which are also benign.What are the symptoms one should watch out for?
As in some other cancers, soft tissue sarcomas might not exhibit obvious symptoms in the early stages but as a tumour grows, these are some signs to watch out for:
See your doctor if you have a lump that is increasing in size or becomes painful, recurrence of a lump that’s been removed or a lump of any size located deep within a muscle. Although these could be cysts or lipomas (fatty lumps), which are non-cancerous, it’s recommended to have them checked out.What causes soft tissue sarcomas?
In a majority of soft tissue sarcomas, the exact cause is unclear. Generally speaking, cancer is caused by cells dividing uncontrollably and forming tumours in parts of the body, but there are a number of factors, which are known to increase the risk of soft tissue sarcomas:
The following are some methods to help diagnose sarcoma:
What are the treatment options for soft tissue sarcoma?
Before deciding on a treatment plan, doctors take into account various factors, such as where the cancer has developed, how far it has spread, the type of sarcoma it is, the patients age and overall health. The main treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.