Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues. They can affect almost any part of the body, on the inside or the outside.
There are three main types of sarcoma:
- Soft tissue.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST).
There are 100 different sub-types of sarcoma, visit Sarcoma UK for more in depth information about these. Bone or soft tissue sarcoma, unlike most cancers, tend to affect younger patients.
Sarcomas are usually found by a patient when a lump appears on the leg, arm or torso. The earlier sarcoma is diagnosed the better chances of successful treatment. A specialist doctor will diagnose sarcoma through a series of tests which could include:
- Clinical examination.
- An MRI or CT scan.
- A biopsy.
- A bone scan.
If you are diagnosed with sarcoma you should be referred to a specialist sarcoma team for diagnosis and treatment. There are sarcoma specialist centres around the UK.