Sarcomas (Bone & Soft Tissue)

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A sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops from certain tissues, like bone or muscle. There are 2 main types of sarcoma: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues. They can be found in any part of the body. Most of them develop in the arms or legs. They can also be found in the trunk, head and neck area, internal organs, and the area in back of the abdominal cavity (known as the retroperitoneum). Sarcomas are not common tumors, and most cancers are the type of tumors called carcinomas. There are many types of soft tissue tumors, and not all of them are cancerous. When a tumor is not cancerous, it is called benign. When the term sarcoma is part of the name of a disease, it means the tumor is malignant (cancer). There are about 50 different types of soft tissue sarcomas.



Signs & Symptoms:

The most common bone cancer symptom is pain, which becomes more constant as the cancer progresses. A lump may be felt, depending on where the tumor is found. In addition, swelling may be present in the area of pain. Signs of weight loss and exhaustion may indicate that the bone cancer or soft tissue sarcoma has spread.



Bone sarcoma:

The different types of bone sarcomas are mentioned below (not all of them are mentioned).

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone sarcoma, accounting for approximately 35% of bone tumors. Chondrosarcoma is the second most common type in adults (accounting for 30% of bone sarcomas), and Ewing's sarcoma is the second most common type in children. All other types are extremely rare, each accounting for less than 1% of all bone sarcomas. (See list below for some types of sarcomas of the bone). Within these types, there are further subtypes -- for example, there are 11 different types of osteosarcomas. Ewing’s sarcoma can occur in the bone or soft tissue (called extra-osseous), and this is important when treatment options are considered. The large majority of cases occur in the bones, and the diagnosis is most common in the teenage years. PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor) is a type of sarcoma closely related to Ewing’s. PNET can occur in the bone or the central nervous system. PNET of the bone is treated the same as Ewing’s sarcoma, but PNET in the brain or spinal cord is a genetically different tumor that is treated differently. Ewing’s, PNET, Askins tumors and neuroepithelioma all contain the same genetic abnormality, called an 11-22 chromosomal translocation. Because of this similarity, these tumors are referred to as the Ewing’s sarcoma family of tumors and are treated similarly.



Soft Tissue Sarcoma:

The different types of soft tissue sarcomas are,

1. Fibrosarcoma

2. Myxofibrosarcomas

3. Desmoid tumours

4. Liposarcomas

5. Synovial sarcomas

6. Rhabdomyosarcomas

7. Leimyosarcomas

8. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours

9. Angiosarcomas

10. Gastrointestinal stromal tumours

11. Kaposi sarcoma

12. Ewing’s tumour

13. Other sarcomas


Treatment Methods:

The treatment methods of sarcomas are involving the following methods. The two modalities may be combined for some cases. The three main way of treatment are

1. Surgery

2. Chemotherapy

3. Radiation therapy



Questions:

1. Which of the following sarcoma is occurring in bone ?

a) Ewing’s sarcoma

b) Fibrosarcoma

c) Kaposi sarcoma

d) Osteosarcoma



Answer:

1. d) Osteosarcoma


References:

    1. http://www.cancer.org

    2. http://www.oncolink.org

    3. http://cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.org

    4. http://www.macmillan.org.uk

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