Sarcoma Cancer: Understanding And Treating A Rare Disease

Sarcoma is a type of cancer which arises from the connective tissue, like muscles, fat, veins, ligaments, and bones. It accounts for approximately 1% of all adult cancers and 15% of paediatric cancers, making it a relatively uncommon form of cancer. In India the incidence of sarcomas has increased from the past last decade. Sarcomas can develop anywhere on the body and fall into two main categories: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.

Characteristics and Types

Sarcomas of the soft tissue: Sarcomas of the soft tissues can develop in the arms, legs, trunk, head, and neck, among other parts of the body. Depending on the site of origin they are divided into various subtypes like;

  • liposarcoma (originating from fat tissue),
  • leiomyosarcoma (smooth muscle cells),
  • Synovial sarcoma (emerging close to joints).
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma ( skeletal muscle)
  • Sarcomas of bones: Bone sarcomas commonly originate from the long bones of the arms and legs. The two commonest form of bone sarcomas are Ewing’s sarcoma and Osteosarcomas, mostly seen in kids and young adults.

    Diagnosis and Staging

    Imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans are used in combination with a biopsy to obtain a tissue sample for analysis of sarcoma cancer. Sarcomas are staged to determine their extent once diagnosed. The size of the tumour, whether or not it has spread to other organs, and whether or not there is metastasis are all taken into account during the staging process. Prognosis and treatment decisions are aided by staging.

    Options for Treatment: Always involves a Multidisciplinary approach

    The treatment of sarcoma cancer is determined by a number of factors, including the patient's overall health and the type, stage, and location of the tumour. Sarcoma is treated primarily using the following methods:

    • Surgery: The primary treatment for localized sarcomas is surgical resection. The objective is to remove the tumour along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete eradication. Surgery may be difficult in cases where the tumour is in a crucial location or involves vital organs. Prior to surgery, the tumour may be reduced with radiation therapy or other combination treatments.
    • Therapeutic radiation: High-energy X-rays or other forms of radiations are used to kill cancer cells or shrink tumours. It is frequently utilized before or after the medical procedure to improve the condition. In certain cases, radiation treatment might be the essential therapy choice, especially when surgical intervention is not possible.
    • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy utilizes medications to kill cancer cells in the body. It can be given either before surgery in order to shrink the tumour (neoadjuvant) or after the surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant) or as a prime modality of treatment in often advanced or metastatic sarcomas.
    • Targeted Therapy: Utilizing drugs that specifically target specific molecules or genetic abnormalities found in cancer cells is known as targeted therapy. The goal of these treatments is to stop certain pathways that help tumours grow and progress.


    Sarcoma cancer presents many difficulties because of its rarity and different subtypes. Early detection, precise diagnosis, and tailored treatment are crucial for the improvement of the patient.

    When to consult your Oncologist??

    • Lump which is increasing in size
    • Pain in affected area increasing during night
    • Multiple swellings/lumps in body
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Why Choose Jaypee Hospital

      Our hospital provides treatment with multidisciplinary approach involving medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist, to ensure a comprehensive and integrated care experience. We understand that each patient’s journey is unique, and approach every case with empathy, compassion, and deep respect for the physical and emotional challenges faced by the individuals and the families.

      Dr. Pallavi Redhu
      Department of Medical Oncology
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