Bonecancer.in is an information website designed to:
- ● Create awareness about bone cancer OR sarcoma,
- ● Provide concise uptodate scientific data on the multiple disorders and treatment
- ● Update healthcare professionals about sarcoma and recent advances
- ● Raise financial aid for needy sarcoma patients
- ● Encourage further research in the field of Sarcoma
- ● Sarcoma is a type of cancer arising from mesenchymal cells in the body.
Sarcomas are rare.
Various tissues may give rise to sarcoma like muscle, bone, cartilage, fat, vessels, nerve, bone marrow etc.
- ● The cancer process starts due to uncontrolled proliferation of cells which then grow very large and spread to different parts of the body thus effecting function and endangering life.
- ● Sarcoma is a life threatening disease affecting more children and young adults.
- ● Amputation has been the main treatment option offered to patients with Sarcoma.
With newer limb sparing surgeries and adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy it is possible to save the limbs and cure their lives.
Grades of Sarcoma
Based on the speed with which these cancer cells grow, sarcomas are divided into low, intermediate or high grade.
- ● Grading is important to predict the prognosis and to plan treatment.
- ● Low grade tumor may need surgical intervention.
- ● Intermediate and High grade tumors have a high chance of spreading to other parts of the body through blood circulation and less likely through lymphatic system.
These sarcomas have a tendency to spread to Lungs, bones and lymph nodes and less likely to other parts of the body. This kind of spread is called Metastasis or Secondaries.
Intermediate and high grade tumors may need Surgery, Chemotherapy or Radiation. Some tumors need a combination of treatment modalities.
Metastasis or Secondaries
- ● Cancer may spread through blood circulation to lungs, bones etc .
- ● The cancer cells may also spread through the lymphatic system to the local or distant lymph nodes.
- ● Sarcoma is divided into various types based on the tissue of origin.
Few examples are as follows
Osteosarcoma usually arises from the bones.
Chondrosarcomas arise from the cartilage cells either within or at ends of bones.
Ewing’s sarcoma arises from the hematopoietic system of bone, and is more often seen involving the skeletal system.
Soft tissue sarcomas arise from mesenchymal appendages such as muscle, fat, nerves and/or blood vessels.
- ● Secondary sarcomas are one arising from pre-existing lesions (osteochondroma, enchondromas etc.) or as a subsequent effect of radiation exposure or harmful chemical exposure.
How is Sarcoma Diagnosed?
Sarcomas can affect people of any age.
Symptoms are as follows:
- ● Pain is the most common symptom.
Pain gradually increases in intensity.
Pain may be present even during rest. This is an important symptom. Pain may be temporarily relieved by taking medication. But it may come back again after the analgesic effect comes down.
- ● Swelling may arise in the affected area which gradually increases in size.
The rate of growth depends on the grade of the tumor. Usually bone sarcomas are found around the knee, hip, thigh, shoulder etc, other parts of the body may also be affected.
- ● Neurological symptoms may present when sarcomas affect the spine.
There may be radicular pain or sudden onset of weakness in the legs or hand.
Paraplegia may be the mode of presentation.
Inability to pass urine and stool may be the symptom.
- ● Pathological Fracture (fracture occurring through a weakened or diseased bone)
Incidence of Trivial trauma in majority.
- ● Pelvic tumors may present late as the swelling may not be visible. These tumors usually present at a stage when the size is big.
- ● Sacral tumors may present in the form of constipation and weakness due to pressure of the tumor mass on the nerves.
- ● Weight loss and loss of appetite are late symptoms of cancer.
At this stage generally the tumor would have spread to different parts of the body and at this stage cure may not be possible.
People with any of these symptoms should immediately seek medical attention.
Consulting an oncologist at an early stage would help in identifying these tumors at an early stage and increase the chance of cure.
The doctor would thoroughly examine the patient and conduct appropriate investigation to diagnose the condition.