July Is Sarcoma Awareness Month
Sarcoma is rare in adults, accounting for roughly 1% of all adult cancers; however it is more common in children–15 percent of all childhood cancers. This form of cancer is tumors that are found in the connective or supportive tissues in the body and also in the bones. Read more to learn about the risk factors, symptoms and treatment.
Doctors have yet to discover what the cause of Sarcoma is, however they do know some risk factors that put you at a higher risk. These risk factors are:
- Other family members have had Sarcoma.
- You have a bone disorder called Paget’s disease.
- Some inherited diseases are associated with an increased risk in soft tissue sarcoma. Some genetic syndromes are retinoblastoma, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and Werner syndrome.
- You have had previous radiation treatment for other cancers.
- You have a lump that is painless or causes pain because it is pressing on a nerve or muscle.
- You experience swelling that is uncomfortable commonly found in the arm or leg.
- You have limited mobility because of a tumor that restricts motion in the hip, knee, shoulder or hands.
- When the tumor breaks through the skin, it can cause skin lesions.
How they treat Sarcoma depends on what type you have, where it is, how far along it is, and if it has spread to other parts of the body.
- The doctor may perform surgery to take the tumor out.
- Depending on where the tumor is they may use chemotherapy, which is a mixture of drugs to help dispose of cancer cells.
- Targeted therapies use drugs to target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.
- They may use radiation to help shrink the tumor before surgery or kill the left over cancer cells after surgery. This could be used as the main treatment if surgery cannot be done.
Sarcoma In Children
There are three common types of Pediatric Sarcoma.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma that is found in the muscle. The most common treatments are surgery and chemotherapy.
- Osteosarcoma is found in the bone. This type of cancer forms during periods of rapid bone growth. This cancer is commonly found in the knee. The most common treatment is surgery.
- Ewings Sarcoma can occur in the bone or around the outside of the bone in the soft tissue. This is more commonly found in girls than in boys. The common treatments are chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
How To Help
This cancer is most commonly found in children, which causes them to spend a lot of time in the hospital unable to be a normal child. You can help a child by donating an unused vehicle to Wheel For Wishes. By donating your car, all the benefits go to local children charities. Find more information about the charity that benefits children in your area using our chapter locator. Donate your car in one easy step, either by calling 1-877-431-9474 or by filling out the online donation form. Put that unused car to good use and donate it today!