Sarcoma Treatment

Sarcomas (soft tissue and bone tumors) are cancers that start in connective tissues such as muscles, bones, or in fat cells. Comprehensive Cancer Centers treats many different sarcoma types, but the two main types of sarcomas include soft tissue sarcomas, which start in muscles, fat, blood vessels or other some body tissues, and bone sarcomas. Sarcomas often cause bone pain that worsens at night or with physical activity.

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas of the body. Below is more information about sarcomas and how Comprehensive treats patients who has been diagnosed with sarcoma.

What Is a Soft Tissue Sarcoma?

A sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops from certain tissues, like bone or muscle. Bone and soft tissue sarcomas are the main types of sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues. They can be found in any part of the body. Most sarcomas develop in the arms or legs. They can also be found in the trunk, head and neck area, internal organs, and the area in back of the abdominal cavity. Sarcomas are not common tumors, and most cancers are the type of tumors called carcinomas.

There are many types of soft tissue tumors, and not all of them are cancerous. When the term sarcoma is part of the name of a disease, it means the tumor is malignant, or cancerous. Some soft tissue tumors behave in ways between a cancer and a non-cancer. These are called intermediate soft tissue tumors. There are more than 50 different types of soft tissue sarcomas, and Comprehensive Cancer Centers identifies the specific characteristics of a patients sarcoma in order to create individualized treatment plans to address them.

Types and Characteristics of Soft Tissue Sarcomas

  • Adult Fibrosarcoma usually affects fibrous tissue in the legs, arms, or trunk. It is most common in people between the ages of 20 and 60, but can occur in people of any age, even in infants.
  • Alveolar Soft-part Sarcoma is a rare cancer that mostly affects young adults. These tumors most commonly occur in legs.
  • Angiosarcoma can develop either from blood vessels (hemangiosarcomas) or from lymph vessels (lymphangiosarcomas). These tumors sometimes start in a part of the body that has been treated with radiation. Angiosarcomas are sometimes seen in the breast after radiation therapy and in limbs with lymphedema.
  • Clear Cell Sarcoma is a rare cancer that often develops in tendons of the arms or legs. Under the microscope, it has some features of malignant melanoma, a type of cancer that develops from pigment-producing skin cells.
  • Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor is a rare sarcoma of adolescents and young adults, found most often in the abdomen.
  • Epithelioid Sarcoma most often develops in tissues under the skin of the hands, forearms, feet, or lower legs. Adolescents and young adults are often affected.
  • Fibromyxoid Sarcoma, Low-Grade is a slow growing cancer that most often develops as a painless growth in the trunk or arms and legs (particularly the thigh). It is more common in young to middle aged adults. It is also sometimes called an Evans’ tumor.
  • Liposarcomas are malignant tumors of fat tissue. They can develop anywhere in the body, but they most often develop in the thigh, behind the knee, and inside the back of the abdomen. They occur mostly in adults between 50 and 65 years old.
  • Malignant Mesenchymoma is a rare type of sarcoma that shows features of fibrosarcoma and features of at least 2 other types of sarcoma.
  • Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors include neurofibrosarcomas, malignant schwannomas, and neurogenic sarcomas. These are sarcomas that develop from the cells that surround a nerve.
  • Myxofibrosarcomas, Low-Grade are most often found in the arms and legs of elderly patients. They are most common in or just under the skin and there might be more than one tumor nodule.
  • Synovial Sarcoma is a malignant tumor of the tissue around joints. The most common locations are the hip, knee, ankle, and shoulder. This tumor is more common in children and young adults, but it can occur in older people.
  • Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma, previously known as malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH), is most often found in the arms or legs. Less often, it can start inside at the back of the abdomen (the retroperitoneum). This sarcoma is most common in older adults. Although it mostly tends to grow locally, it can spread to distant sites.

How Comprehensive Cancer Centers Treats Sarcoma

If a patient is diagnosed with sarcoma, surgery is often an important tool in the treatment process. Additional treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which may be administered by Comprehensive Cancer Centers before and/or after surgery. Chemotherapy significantly improves the prognosis for many sarcoma patients, especially those with bone sarcomas.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and clinical research for the treatment of sarcomas.  For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

 

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.