July is dedicated to bringing awareness to sarcoma, but it’s important to be informed of this type of cancer at any point in the year. Let’s take a dive into understanding what sarcoma is and how to treat this rare disease.
In recent news, you may have heard Technoblade, a famous social media sensation, passed away due to sarcoma at the young age of 23. Sarcoma makes up less than one percent of adult cancer diagnoses and is a very rare disease in young adults, like Technoblade.
With fewer than 200,000 cases in the U.S. per year, sarcoma is a general term for this uncommon cancer that begins in bones and soft tissues, such as fat or muscle. Sarcoma can be present in various locations in the body and has more than 70 different types.
Treatment, symptoms, and severity differ among patients because each case has a unique combination of sarcoma type, location and individual health factors.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of sarcoma include:
- A growing lump felt through the skin that may or may not be painful
- Unexplained swelling
- Extreme fatigue
- Unexpected bone pain or bone break can occur with minor or no injury at all
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Each case of sarcoma is different, and finding a physician who specializes in sarcoma oncology care is critical. Due to a wide variety of sarcomas, there are different treatment options to consider with your sarcoma specialist. Options include, in most cases, surgery associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, depending on the type of sarcoma.
Cancer rehabilitation is often helpful, as sarcomas can impact a patient’s daily physical function. Sometimes patients have impaired ability to walk or mobilize, impaired ability to do their daily household activities and difficulty completing cognitive tasks. Physician supervised rehabilitation can help patients return to their usual lifestyle after treatment.
UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center has a team of sarcoma specialists ready to personalize a treatment plan for each unique case of sarcoma. In addition, one of our providers, Megan B. Nelson, M.D., helped established the Sarcoma Networking Group with Gilda’s Club, which meets monthly with adult sarcoma patients and their loved ones.
Within our community, UofL Health is supporting the upcoming Sarcoma Foundation of America Race to Cure in Louisville Aug. 27. Join us in spreading awareness and racing for a cure!
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with sarcoma, the Brown Cancer Center may be able to help with compassionate, patient-centered care. Visit our website for more information today.