How does a sarcoma start?
Sarcoma starts when certain cells, like muscle cells, grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. Sarcoma cells can spread to other parts of the body. Sarcoma cells in an arm muscle can sometimes travel to the lung and grow there.
What type of cancer is sarcoma?
A sarcoma is a type of cancer that starts in tissues like bone or muscle. Bone and soft tissue sarcomas are the main types of sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop in soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues. They can be found in any part of the body.
How long can you have sarcoma without knowing?
It would appear that some people are quite happy to live with asymptomatic lumps for up to 5 or more years and our experience shows that most of these patients will have been re-assured by one or more doctors during this time. A long duration of symptoms has been shown to correlate weakly with good prognosis.
Is sarcoma cancer serious?
A sarcoma is considered stage IV when it has spread to distant parts of the body. Stage IV sarcomas are rarely curable. But some patients may be cured if the main (primary) tumor and all of the areas of cancer spread (metastases) can be removed by surgery. The best success rate is when it has spread only to the lungs.
Where are sarcomas usually found?
Sarcomas grow 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..
How does a sarcoma feel?
swelling under the skin may cause a painless lump that cannot easily be moved around and gets bigger over time. swelling in the tummy (abdomen) may cause abdominal pain, a persistent feeling of fullness and constipation. swelling near the lungs may cause a cough or breathlessness.
What does a sarcoma look like?
Soft-tissue sarcoma usually looks like a rounded mass beneath the skin surface. The skin is usually unaffected. The mass may be soft or firm. If the mass is deep, the arm or leg may appear larger or fuller than the other side.
Do sarcomas grow fast?
The general characteristics of most sarcomas are that they grow quickly, are located deep within tissue, and are relatively large.
Where does sarcoma spread to first?
The lungs are the most common site where sarcomas spread, although metastases have been reported in most organs, including the liver, lymph nodes and bones.
When should you suspect sarcoma?
In particular, we recommend all lumps >4cm should be investigated to obtain a diagnosis, and anyone with bone pain and reduced function of the limb or with night pain should be investigated for a bone sarcoma.
How big is a sarcoma lump?
Other sarcomas can present as long-lasting bone pain or swelling in an arm or leg that gets worse at night, or decreased mobility. Sarcoma symptoms that should be investigated are masses (growths) that grow larger, painless masses that have become painful or masses larger than a golf ball (around five centimeters).