Sarcoma 101: Don’t Ignore Your Lumps and Bumps
Education & Research Sarcoma is very rare — only one percent of all adult cancers are sarcomas.
Sarcomas are cancers of the bone and connective tissue. It is made up of many “subtypes” because it can arise from a variety of tissue structures including nerves, muscles, joints, bone, fat and blood vessels.
If not caught early enough, sarcomas can invade surrounding tissue and metastasize to other tissues and organs of the body. The most frequent location are the limbs, since this is where the majority of the body’s connective tissue resides. They are commonly hidden deep in the body.
Scientists still don’t know exactly what causes most cases of soft tissue and bone sarcoma, but they have found risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop these cancers.
Sarcoma is a rare cancer in adults, accounting for less than 1 percent of all adult cancers, but rather prevalent in children, accounting for about 15 percent of all childhood cancers. Researchers still do not know why most soft tissue sarcomas develop in people who have no apparent risk factors.
- Surgical removal of cancer tissue
- Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells
- Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells
Types of Sarcoma
- There are about 50 different types of soft tissue sarcomas
- They can be found in any soft tissues in any part of the body
- Most of them develop in the arms and legs
- The most common types in adults are malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, and lalomyosarcoma
- The most common type in children is rhabdomyosarcoma
- Osteosarcoma is the most common type
- It can occur at any age but mostly in children/young adults
- Ewing tumors are the second most common in children
- Most tumors develop in the bones around the knee or the proximal humerus