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Sarcoma

Sarcomas are rare cancers that can affect any part of the body, including muscle, tendons, bone, blood vessels and fatty tissues. Although it is a rare form of cancer, patients that are affected, mostly develop sarcoma in the legs, arms and trunk of the body.

According to Sarcoma UK, there are four main types of sarcoma:

  • Soft tissue sarcoma – Cancer that develops in supporting or connective tissue such as the tendons, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, occurring most commonly in the arms, legs or trunk
  • Bone sarcoma – Cancer that starts the bone, most commonly affecting the legs
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) – Cancer that develops supporting or connective tissue such as the tendons, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, but occurs in the digestive tract
  • Gynaecological sarcoma - Cancer that develops in the female reproductive system

Rutherford Treatment Options

  • Proton Beam Therapy Available
  • Radiotherapy Available
  • Chemotherapy Available
  • Immunotherapy Available

Symptoms

Symptoms caused by sarcoma can depend on where in the body it is situated and the rate at which it is growing. Some people may have symptoms, whereas others may not experience any. 

If you experience any of the detailed symptoms that aren’t normal for you, contact your GP who can refer you for further investigations.

 

Here are some common symptoms that may be experienced:

  • A lump or swelling in the soft tissue of the body under the skin, often on the arm, leg or trunk, that is:
    • Has reached a size larger than 5cm
    • Appearing to be increasing in size
    • Usually painful, but not always heavy periods or bleeding in between periods, an enlarging fibroid, abdominal pain and bloating, noticeable lump on a section of the vulva (Gynaecological sarcoma only)

If you’d like to speak to us about any of the treatments we offer
please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 210 0402 or

Sarcoma diagnosis

Often people will experience symptoms and see their GP. If your GP thinks you’re experiencing symptoms as a result of a lump that is consistent with the symptoms of sarcoma, they will arrange for you to have a physical examination and may send you to a for further diagnostics scans and tests. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the outcome of treatment will be.

Ways sarcoma can be diagnosed:

  • Physical examination carried out by a specialist doctor
  • Scans such as x-ray, CT, EUS, PET or MRI
  • A biopsy – taking and testing a tissue sample from the body
MRI Diagnosis

Treating sarcoma cancer with proton beam therapy

Proton beam therapy can be used to treat sarcoma, usually before or after surgery. 

The aim of the using proton beam therapy will be to shrink a tumour before removal, or after surgery, to kill any remaining local cancer cells that may have been left behind.

The benefits of treating sarcoma cancer with proton beam therapy

As sarcoma cancer can occur anywhere in the body, there may be situations where it is located near vital organs and other sensitive tissue. Proton beam therapy can be an effective treatment choice, as it will deliver minimal radiation dose to healthy tissues surrounding the tumour or cancer cells that should be avoided, while precisely targeting the cancer.

Sensitive areas of the body may include: 

  • The base of the skull
  • Head and neck region
  • Pelvis
  • Spine
  • The female reproductive system

An overview of how proton beam therapy works

Proton beam therapy is highly accurate in targeting a treatment area. It can be used to treat hard-to-reach tumours, while lowering radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and vital organs.

Watch the video

Further information & support

Being diagnosed with sarcoma and deciding on the best treatment can be daunting, for full details on sarcoma treatment options or to discuss a diagnosis, please contact our enquiries team. Our enquiries team will endeavour to help you assess your treatment options and advise which consultants could be best placed to plan your treatment pathway.

Macmillan Cancer Support offers a wide range of information and support, as well as help with your practical, emotional, and financial needs. All telephone helplines are free and confidential, and interpreting services are also available.

Freephone: 0808 808 00 00

(Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 8.00pm)

Website: www.macmillan.org.uk

Get in Touch

If you'd like to speak to us about any of the treatments we offer please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 210 0402 or

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