Types of Sarcoma Cancer and Their Treatment Methods

March 9th, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, the term ‘sarcoma cancer’ does not refer to any one particular form of cancer. Sarcoma cancer is used to classify similar forms of cancers that can develop in any part of the body. Generally speaking, a sarcoma cancer is an abnormal growth of the body’s connective tissues. The body’s connective tissues are made up of cells that form tendons and ligaments that support muscles and other major organs.

There are many different kinds of sarcoma related cancers. A few of the most common ones include uterine sarcoma cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma.

Most commonly found women who have gone through menopause, uterine sarcoma is fairly rare cancer that starts in the uterine muscles (uterine leiomyosarcoma) or the uterus lining (endometrial stromal sarcoma).

Kaposi’s Sarcoma entered public awareness in the 1980′s as one of the leading symptoms associated with the AIDS epidemic. Kaposi’s sarcoma manifests itself in blotchy areas of the skin. Kaposi’s sarcoma causes malignant cells in the tissues under the skin, mouth nose and anus. In severe cases the blotches in these affected areas will give off a milky discharge.

Affecting the bones and soft tissue, Ewing’s Sarcoma is a fast moving and aggressive cancer that can spread through the entire body in mere months. Ewing’s sarcoma has a high mortality rate with a less than 10% chance of long-term survival even after intensive chemotherapy treatment.

Common treatment methods for sarcomas:

Cancer can strike anyone at any time, regardless of age, race or gender. The key to dealing with sarcoma cancer is to act quickly. Upon diagnosis an oncologist should immediately be consulted at a hospital or a clinic that specializes in sarcoma cancers. The two major treatment methods for sarcoma based cancers are radiation therapy and surgery. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy can also be effective to treat certain kinds of sarcoma cancers.

Surgery is the most effective treatment for cancers such as uterine sarcoma. Surgery allows for the direct removal of tissue ravaged by the cancer and is often followed by bouts of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill any malignant cells that the surgeon might have missed.  Surgery can be a scary option, but it is usually necessary in order to fully remove any traces of the cancer cells.  Some recovery time is required so it is important to schedule work/life appropriately.

For other types of cancers such as Ewing’s sarcoma, radiation therapy is more effective. Repeated doses of radiation therapy can successfully shrink the size of a tumor to a size small enough so that it can be removed by normal surgery. A second round of radiation treatments are then administered after surgery to get rid of any remaining cancer cells. This extended radiation treatment can be a long and arduous process for the patient, but is necessary to reduce the threat of future sarcoma outbreaks.