Sarcoma Types, Causes & Symptoms
Sarcoma is a type of cancer occurring in the supporting and connective tissues of muscles, bone, fat and blood vessels. A sarcoma can be benign or malignant with multiple causes and symptoms. Currently, there are more than 100 different types of sarcomas that are identified. Sarcomas can occur anywhere in the body.
Benign or Malignant Sarcomas
Sarcomas are basically classified into benign or malignant. Benign sarcomas are those sarcomas that do not spread to the different parts of the body. On the other hand, malignant sarcomas are cancerous and generally spread to other parts of the body.
Sarcoma Causes And Symptoms
The causes of sarcoma are the same as that of every form of cancer. Unfortunately, there are not any specific and exact causes for the occurrence of sarcoma. Following are some of the sarcoma causes that may increase the risk of developing a sarcoma,
- Radiation or chemical exposure
- Pre-existing genetic conditions like unwanted mutations
- Family history of Sarcoma
Going towards the symptoms, the sarcoma symptoms can differ depending on the type of sarcoma one is suffering from and where is the sarcoma located. But there are some generally identified sarcoma symptoms such as:
- A lump or a mass of cells
- Numbness or tingling
- Weight loss
Generally, based on the location of the cancer growth sarcoma types are classified into the following two types of cancers:
- Soft-tissue Sarcomas: These types of cancer start in the muscles, fat, nerves, blood vessels, and other different types of soft tissues in the body. These types of sarcoma are the most common of all the sarcomas with a prevalence rate of 80% in sarcomas.
- Bone Sarcomas: These types of cancers occur in the bones as the name suggests. They are less than soft-tissue sarcomas but still account for 20% of sarcomas.
As with most of the cancers, sarcoma treatment is also possible. Sarcoma treatment largely depends upon the type of sarcoma, the stage of sarcoma, and the overall health and age of the patient. The general options that are provided for sarcoma treatment are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or a combination of any of these treatments.
Sarcoma Risk Factor
There are plenty of risk factors that can cause the formation of sarcoma, such as getting exposed to radiation in any form or any cancerous chemicals known as carcinogens. Any alteration in the genes responsible for the formation of connective tissues due to exposure to ultraviolet rays or any DNA-altering substance. If there is a family history of sarcoma, then the chance of occurring sarcoma becomes high. Age, although a common factor for all cancers, is also a risk factor for sarcoma.
Thus, Sarcoma is a very rare type of cancer that occurs in tissues that are responsible for connecting and supporting the body structure. On the basis of the region where it occurs, sarcomas are classified as soft-tissue sarcoma and bone sarcoma. Sarcomas can be either benign or malignant and symptoms of sarcoma depend on the type of sarcoma and its location in the body.
If you experience or find someone having any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please contact your doctor or an oncologist immediately. Sarcomas are generally rare, but they are commonly known to occur in children along with adults. Early detection is important for early treatment and cure improving the chances of a sarcoma-free life.
If you have any concerns about sarcoma, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.