Sarcoma refers to a group of rare cancers that form in the bones or soft tissue such as fat, muscles, nerves, or even blood vessels. These tumors can be found in any part of the body but are most frequently found in the limbs or abdomen.
The symptoms of the various sarcomas differ depending on where in the body they’re found. General symptoms associated with most types of sarcoma include weight loss, fatigue, and the appearance of a lump.
The two most common tests used to diagnose sarcoma are imaging tests, such as an x-ray, CT scan or MRI, and a needle or surgical biopsy where a small amount of tissue is taken for laboratory testing.
Treatment options will also vary depending on the specific type of sarcoma, but your doctor will likely recommend surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, drug therapy, or a combination to treat your cancer. An individualized treatment plan will be created just for you once the cancer is diagnosed and staged.
The type and stage of sarcoma will greatly affect the outcome, and soft tissue sarcoma generally has a more favorable outcome. For example, the 5-year survival rate for an early stage, soft tissue sarcoma is as high as 90%.