Sarcoma is a type of cancer that grows in connective tissue cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in the body. They may occur in the bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, fat, cartilage and blood vessels, among other areas in the body.
Sarcoma cancer is divided into two main types; bone sarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma.
Primary bone cancer is cancer that begins in the bones. Secondary bone cancer is cancer that spreads into the bones from other parts of the body known as bone metastases. Although bone cancer can develop in any bone, it mostly occurs in the long bones of the legs and arms.
Symptoms may include:
- Persistent pain in the affected area
- Swelling and redness
- Weak bone that easily fractured
Although sarcoma causes are unknown risk factors may include:
- Genetic factors – family history
- Certain bone disorders
- Excessive exposure to radiation
Various tests may be carried-out to confirm a diagnosis including x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, bone scan and biopsy to determine the type of tumour.
The treatment of sarcoma depends on the type, stage and location in the body. Treatment may include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapies.