National Sarcoma Awareness Month

Sarcomas are rare, malignant tumors that develop from connective tissues in the body such as muscles, fat, bones, the linings of joints or blood vessels. They can be found anywhere in the body in both children and adults. Yet, sarcomas make up 20 percent of all childhood cancers.

Common symptoms

Sarcomas are commonly hidden deep in the body so it is often diagnosed when it has already become too large. Below are symptoms to look for according to the American Cancer Society:

• A new lump or a lump that’s growing (anywhere in the body)
• Abdominal pain that worsens
• Blood in stool or vomit
• Black, tarry stools

Although other things could cause these symptoms, it is good to visit your doctor for a checkup if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Treatment

Treatment for sarcomas depends on the stage of the cancer. Most sarcomas are quite rare and can be found in difficult areas of the body such as the base of the skull and spine. Most often, proton therapy is used in combination with other types of treatment for sarcomas. Proton therapy can precisely target tumors that are located in difficult areas and spare the healthy surrounding tissue.

MD Anderson’s Sarcoma Center  has a wealth of experience and knowledge and has treated more sarcoma patients than any other cancer hospital. If you do find any lumps or bumps, don’t ignore them. Make sure to monitor them and visit your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.