Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that grows in connective tissue cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. These tumors are most common in the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of your arms and legs, but they can also happen in other areas of your body. Sarcomas comprise a complex family of cancers covering a wide variety of distinct diseases that can be categorized into two broad areas:

 

Sarcoma of the Soft Tissues

There are over 75 subtypes of soft tissue sarcomas with the most frequently occurring found in the connective tissue of the tendon, ligament or muscle. These malignant tumor subtypes vary in their tissue of origin, clinical behavior or sensitivity to certain therapies, aggressiveness, growth pattern, and age of onset.

 

Sarcoma of the Bone

This rare type of sarcoma cancer appears in the bone, typically in the extremities or trunk (including upper arm, shoulder, ribs and legs). The four types of primary bone cancer include chondrosarcomas, osteosarcomas, giant cell tumor of the bone, and the Ewing’s family of tumors. Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma occur more frequently in children and adolescents; chondrosarcoma and giant cell tumor of the bone occur more often in adults.

Soft tissue sarcomas occur in only 1% of adult cancers and comprise approximately 15% of childhood cancers. Bone sarcoma is more infrequent with approximately 2,500 new cases diagnosed each year for adults and children.

 

Sarcoma Risk Factors

We don’t yet know what causes sarcoma, but we do know some things that raise the risk of developing one:

 

Symptoms

The identifiable symptoms of sarcomas are minimal and there is no routine screening test for soft tissue or bone sarcomas; however, there are a few signs that could indicate a malignant tumor is present:

 

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

  • A painless lump which could eventually become sore or painful
  • Blockage in the gastrointestinal system, or blood in vomit or stool

 

Bone Sarcoma

  • Pain is the most common symptom of bone sarcomas, accompanied by swelling and tenderness (from a tumor in or near a joint) or restricted movement. Other symptoms may include fever, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia.
  • A painless lump which could eventually become sore or painful

A physician must be consulted if any of these symptoms manifest, but a person should understand that these symptoms are general and could be attributed to another medical condition.

 

Treatments for Tumors

As one of the more complex forms of cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and bone sarcomas are best treated using an integrated treatment plan. We develop and implement the most effective multi-modal treatment plan for each patient and are dedicated to helping our patients defeat cancer and become intimately involved in each patient’s care attending to each case comprehensively.Developing a course of treatment is a process unique to each patient. We evaluate the stage and grade of a tumor, previous treatments (if any), extent of the cancer, biopsy results, and other unique factors. Next, we discuss all sarcoma treatment options with our patients and review all possible side effects. This helps prepare our patients for all aspects of their treatment so they know what to expect. We include in our treatment team a plastic surgeon, pathologist, radiologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist .

Treatment options for a soft tissue sarcoma and/or bone sarcoma can include either one of a combination of:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery

Our care is from diagnosis to treatment and recovery with the belief that compassion and mutual respect are essential for success in all the dimensions of cancer care. Dr. Ngidi follows a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment and partners with each patient encouraging them to participate in their own medical care and make informed decisions.

 

It always seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela