**Have you ever heard or know what sarcoma is?*I am sure that everyone in this audience hasknown someone who has been affected bycancer. It is a diagnosis that no one ever wantsto hear.*Eleven years ago I found out what sarcoma is,my youngest sister was diagnosed with it. Itsent my family into a research frenzy on justwhat sarcoma is.
* Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer thataffects the connective tissues of thebody. It can form anywhere in the bodyfrom the head to the toes. There aretwo main groups of sarcoma.* Soft Tissue Sarcoma: this form ofsarcoma affects the muscles, nerves,tendon’s, blood vessels, joints, andlymph nodes.* Osteosarcoma, commonly referred to asBone Cancer.* Between the two sub-groups there areover 30 recognized forms of sarcoma.*
* Sarcoma accounts for only 1% of adultswith cancer and 15% of children withcancer.* If you are diagnosed with sarcoma it iscritical that you seek treatment at ahospital that has its own sarcomacenter.* Because of the rarity of this diseasenot every oncologist will know how togive you effective treatment.*
* When you are diagnosed with sarcomayou will meet with a multidisciplinarysarcoma team.* The team consists of a MedicalOncologist, Surgical Oncologist, RadiationOncologist, and a Pathologist.* The next step is obtaining a biopsy andcat scans to determine the exact type ofsarcoma, and what stage it is at.* It is also important to find if the cancerhas spread to other parts of your body.* The higher the grade of cancer, the lesslikely you are to survive the disease.*
* Treatment for sarcoma depends on the gradeand the location of the tumor.* Surgery is the most common form of treatmentto remove the tumor and the surrounding tissue.* Surgery may be followed by radiation and / orchemotherapy to help minimize the risk ofreoccurrence.* Radiation is used in other cases to reduce thesize of the tumor with the hope that it can thenbe surgically removed.* Brachytherapy is when radioactive seeds areimplanted into the tumor and then removedafter 15 minutes. This is repeated 3 times overthe span of a day.* Chemotherapy is used to kill the cancer cells –there are many forms of chemotherapyavailable.* For osteosarcoma sometimes the limb needs tobe amputated. Other ways of treatingosteosarcoma is by replacing the bone with abone from a cadaver, or by building an artificialbone made up of steel rods.*
**In conclusion, if you feel a lump anywhere inyour body, get it checked out!*The larger a tumor grows, the harder it is goingto be to have a successful treatment.*If it is sarcoma find a qualified sarcoma centerimmediately!
** “Sarcoma” Cancer.net Editorial Board1/2013 http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/sarcoma* “Bone Cancer” Cancer.net Editorial Board10/2012 http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bone-cancer* “Sarcoma” Cancer.net Editorial Board1/2013 http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/sarcoma/treatment* Sarcoma – Connective Tissue Cancer Maxwell V. Blum CancerResource Room2008http://www2.massgeneral.org/cancerresourceroom/types/sarcoma/illustration/sarcoma.asp* Medical Horizons4/20/2013 http://www.medical-horizons.net/blog-view.php?id=59The Foot and Ankle Online Journal by Emmanuel P. Estrella, MD1 , EdwardHM Wang, MD1, MSc, Leo Daniel D. Caro, MD1, Vicente G. Castillo, MD3/1/2009 http://faoj.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/fossfig3c.jpg