Soft Tissue Sarcoma Symptoms & Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
What Is a Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
A soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in soft tissues like deep skin tissue, muscle, fat, nerves, fibrous tissues or even blood vessels. Most often, soft tissue sarcomas are located in the arms or legs, and less commonly are seen in the trunk, neck, head internal organs, or in the back of the abdominal cavity.
There are many types of soft tissue sarcomas which can affect both children and adults, and depending on the type of soft tissue sarcoma you are diagnosed with, treatment will vary. Regardless of sarcoma type, early detection, diagnosis and treatment is essential.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Santa Monica who specializes in soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis and treatment, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
What Causes Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
There are more than 50 different types of soft tissue sarcomas, including fibrosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (most common type of sarcoma in children) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor, which are soft tissue sarcomas that developed in the stomach or small intestine and are most common in adults.
Researchers still do not completely understand the etiology of soft tissue sarcoma, but they have isolated several risk factors that affect the DNA of cells in the soft tissues. These risk factors include:
- Exposure to radiation (including radiation given to treat other cancers)
- Damaged lymph system
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Hereditary causes, including specific family cancer syndromes
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Symptoms & Diagnosis
Soft tissue sarcomas are not always easy to detect early. If you have a family history, genetic testing may be helpful to see if you are more likely to develop this type of cancer.
Over 50 percent of soft tissue sarcoma cancer appears in your arm or leg. You will simply notice a lump that grows over time, but may or may not hurt. About 20 percent develop behind the abdomen and are harder to detect.
In addition, the following soft tissue sarcoma symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare professional should you experience one or several of them.
- A lump or growth that is new
- A lump or growth that is changing or growing
- Blood in vomit or stools
- Black, tarry stools indicating presence of blood in stomach or bowels
- Worsening abdominal pain
- Blockage or bleeding in stomach or bowels
These symptoms can also be indicative of other medical conditions. To help diagnose your ailment, your healthcare provider may utilize several tests including an MRI or CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound, biopsy or positron emission tomography scan. If sarcoma is detected, your healthcare provider will determine what stage of soft tissue sarcoma you have. Stages of soft tissue sarcoma are based on a system known as the TNM system from the American Joint Committee on Cancer.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment
Once your soft tissue sarcoma is staged, your healthcare provider will discuss various treatment options which are suitable for your unique needs. The most frequently recommended soft tissue sarcoma treatments include:
- Targeted drug therapy
A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming. In addition to medical treatment which addresses the sarcoma, it will be important to seek emotional support from loved ones, support groups or one-on-one psychological counseling.
The overall five-year survival rate of people with soft tissue sarcomas is roughly 50 percent—with over 83 percent survival rate in localized sarcomas. With any cancer, it is essential that you seek care from an experienced provider to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Request more information today about soft tissue sarcoma treatment. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
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