Certainly, every type of cancer is life-threatening and the most dangerous among them, are the rarest. Sarcoma is on this list. It grows in connective tissue, which promotes other processes in our body. Sarcoma is particularly dangerous because it can easily be confused with many other cancers. Let’s take a closer look at the specific symptoms and other characteristics of the disease.
What is a sarcoma?
Soft tissue is where sarcoma usually occurs. Including such types as fat, muscle, fiber and synovial tissues, blood and lymph vessels and peripheral nerves. Typically, sarcoma occurs in the arms, legs and abdomen. The most common type of treatment is surgical removal. Depending on the area and size of the tumour, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may also be possible.
Bone sarcomas are the second major group of this type of cancer and the most common is osteosarcoma. It usually occurs in children due to bone growth. In the United States, less than 3000 cases of bone sarcomas are diagnosed every year.
What are the risk factors?
Although scientists do not know the cause of sarcomas, they have statistically identified several factors that can increase the risk of this type of cancer. There are:
- Inheritance. If someone in your family has already had sarcoma.
- Paget’s disease. The disease affects bones in the sense that they are fragile or even deformed.
- A genetic disorder. This could be neurofibromatosis, retinoblastoma, Gardner syndrome or Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
- Exposure to radiation.
The only type of sarcoma that has a clearly defined cause is Kaposi’s sarcoma. It is caused by the human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8). Most people are infected with at least one type of herpes virus, and the immune system of an average person can easily keep it under control.
What are the symptoms?
Unfortunately, the symptoms of sarcomas are usually not so obvious, which can lead to very late detection. Main indicators are:
- a noticeable and painful lump or swelling;
- Pain (tumor can press nerves or muscles);
- a limp when the tumor is in the leg.
It is important that you consult your doctor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. Sarcomas have a survival rate between 56% and 90%, depending on the stage of the cancer and if they have not metastasized (spread to other parts of the body). Sarcomas can be extremely aggressive, which means they grow very rapidly and are likely to spread.
It is recommended to undergo regular medical examinations. Such actions save many lives.
Take care of yourself and stay healthy!