Sarcoma

bicher-oncology-staff-doctors-photo-session-2015-11Sarcoma tumors are fairly rare, but affect as many as 14,000 people in the United States every year. As cancers of the connective tissue, they account for approximately 15% of all cancer diagnoses in patients under the age of 20. They typically occur in the following areas:

  • Fat
  • Blood vessels
  • Nerves
  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Deep skin tissue
  • Cartilage
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Types of Sarcomas

Sarcomas are divided into two main categories: bone and soft tissue.

Soft Tissue

Soft tissue sarcoma is a very rare form of cancer. An estimated 11,000 new cases are diagnosed every year, although some soft tissue sarcoma tumors can be benign. Soft tissue cancer can affect several types of connective tissue including:

  • Fat
  • Muscles
  • Blood vessels
  • Tendons
  • Fibrous tissues
  • Synovial tissue (tissue surrounding the joints)

Roughly 40% of all soft tissue sarcomas develop in the lower extremities above the knee. Sarcomas in the shoulders, chest, hips, and abdomen account for 30% of diagnoses, and another 30% in the hands, arms, head, and neck.

While a definitive cause for soft tissue sarcoma has not been identified, research suggests that exposure to certain toxins and industrial chemicals found in herbicides like phenoxyactic acid, and clorphenols found in wood preservative, can potentially increase the risk.

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Bone Sarcoma

Bone sarcomas are incredibly rare, with approximately 2800 cases diagnosed every year. Bone sarcomas are broken up into three categories:

  • Osteosarcoma – Typically affects the bones of the upper arm (humerus) and leg (femur and tibia).
  • Ewing’s sarcoma – Can develop in any bone, but it is most commonly found in the pelvis, tibia, fibula, and femur in children and young adults under the age of 30.
  • Chondrosarcoma – Develops in the cells responsible for producing cartilage.

The majority of bone sarcoma cases are diagnosed in children, with osteosarcoma being the most common. As with soft tissue sarcoma, a definitive cause for bone sarcoma has not been identified. However research suggests that patients with prior exposure to radiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment could have an elevated risk of also developing soft tissue or bone sarcomas in the future.

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Contact Radiation Oncology Experts in Los Angeles Today

The cancer specialists at Bicher Cancer Institute in Los Angeles have decades of experience in treating patients for cancer with traditional radiation, as well as hyperthermia, the cutting edge modality that uses heat to make tumors more responsive to treatment with radiation. Call today to schedule an appointment.

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“Fighting cancer with heat is no secret.
But it is an untouched weapon that holds remarkable potential.”

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James I. Bicher, MD
Founder & CEO,
Bicher Cancer Institute

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Are you considering hyperthermia treatment for cancer? Contact the experts at Bicher Cancer Institute today to schedule an appointment or get the answers to any questions you still have.

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