Sarcoma

Sarcomas can develop anywhere in the body. The two main types of Sarcomas, Soft-tissue and Osteosarcoma (Bone Sarcoma) start with healthy cells that change and grow out of control, forming a mass/tumor.

Soft-Tissue Sarcoma

Cancer cells that develop in the body’s soft tissue, including in the skin, muscles, fat cells, nerves, blood and lymph vessels, lining of the joints, fibrous connective tissue and tendons.

Some risk factors for Soft-tissue Sarcoma are:

  • Inherited genetic disorders

  • Previous radiation treatment

  • Abnormal immune system

  • Lymphedema

Some signs and symptoms of Soft-tissue Sarcoma are:

Symptoms that are rarely seen in early stages are different for each person, and depend on where the sarcoma is located in the body. Some people however, don’t experience any changes because of the sarcoma.

  • Soft tissue lumps

  • Pain in the affected area

  • Unusual bleeding

  • Chest pain or breathing difficulty

Screening & Diagnosis for Soft-tissue Sarcoma

  • Imaging: XRay, CT, MRI, PET-CT

  • Biopsy

  • Genetic Testing

Osteosarcoma (Bone Sarcoma)

Cancer cells that develop in the bones, usually in the thigh (distal femur), lower leg (proximal tibia) or upper arm (proximal humerus) and are referred to as true or primary tumors.  They are most often seen as a complication in people who had a childhood cancer that was treated with radiation therapy.

It’s important to note that there are other types of bone cancer, but they don’t start in the bone cells and are not considered to be a Sarcoma.

Some risk factors for Osteosarcoma are:

  • Previous radiation treatment

Some signs and symptoms of Osteosarcoma are:

Symptoms that are rarely seen in early stages are different for each person and depend on where the sarcoma is located in the body. Some people, however, don’t experience any changes because of the sarcoma.

  • Pain

  • Swelling / stiffness

  • Bone fractures

  • Hypercalcemia (high level of calcium in the blood)

  • Limping

Screening & Diagnosis for Osteosarcoma

A complete physical exam and medical history should be done. The exam will check for any unusual physical signs. A complete medical history is also important to fully understand a person’s health habits, family history, previous illnesses, and past exposure. Additional testing may include:

  • Imaging: XRay, Bone Scan, CT, MRI, PET-CT

  • Biopsy

  • Blood tests

Helpful Patient Resources:

We understand that receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a very scary and it is an emotional time for the patient and their families. It is very important to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your oncologist. We highly recommend that if you do any research about your disease, that you do so only with reputable sources. For your convenience, we’ve listed some below.

National Cancer Institute:

American Cancer Society: