Sarcomas Treated by Mercy’s Cancer Specialists
Mercy physicians provide expertise in treating sarcomas, one of the more rare types of cancer. The team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists works closely together to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
Sarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor that begins in the soft tissue of your body. Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) starts in the connective tissues like muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, tendons, or ligaments as opposed to starting in bone tissue.
Soft tissue sarcoma is most often found in the arms, legs, buttocks, hand or feet. It can also take place in the chest, abdomen, head and neck. The cause of sarcomas is unknown.
Types of Sarcoma:
Sarcomas can take place practically anywhere in the body. The most common types of sarcomas are gastrointestinal stromal tumors and sarcomas that affect the arms and legs. Sarcomas types are based on the tissue in which they begin.
The main tissue groups where sarcomas often begin are:
- Blood and lymph
In its early stages sarcomas do not typically present signs or symptoms. As the sarcoma tumor grows, it may present symptoms including:
- A visible lump or swelling
- Pain from pressing on the nerves or muscles
- Blockage in stomach or intestines
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
To determine if you have sarcoma disease, your doctor takes a thorough medical history, performs a physician exam and orders a variety of tests. These tests may include:
Sarcomas are treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The location, type and stage of your sarcoma determine how it will be treated most effectively. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and brachytherapy are modern radiation techniques frequently used in sarcoma treatment which requires a high degree of cooperation between radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists.