Home News & Events News BLOG: July is Sarcoma Awareness Month

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month

Sarcoma is a type of cancer that is not often spoken about and not many people are aware of it or its symptoms. Sarcoma UK defines sarcoma as: “Uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body, on the inside or outside, including the muscle, bone, tendons, blood vessels and fatty tissues. Fifteen people are diagnosed with sarcoma every day in the UK. That’s about 5,300 people a year.”

There are two main types of sarcoma called bone sarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcoma is the most common of sarcoma cancers, as it accounts for 88% of sarcoma cases so let’s discuss the signs and symptoms to look out for. 

Soft tissue sarcoma is when cancer cells develop in the connective tissues (which are a group of cells that support the different tissues within the body), this can either be fat, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels in the arm and leg and many more. 

The symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma can be a  lump or swelling in the affected area. The swelling could be painless, however, if you notice it getting bigger, then you must see your GP. I always advise people around me to know their body. No one else will know what is normal for your body better than you, therefore, if you notice any symptoms then document or create a small diary of this and report to your GP as soon as possible.

Age, injury, lymphoedema*, genetic conditions, previous treatment such as radiotherapy and exposure to chemicals can increase one’s chances of developing soft tissue sarcoma.

It is crucial to educate yourself and your loved ones on the symptoms of sarcoma. Early diagnosis, as we know increases chances of survival; If you notice any signs or know anyone experiencing these symptoms, encourage them to see their GP as soon as possible.

People who have experienced sarcoma, should be encouraged to speak up about their experience from diagnosis to treatment. Sarcoma is one of the least talked about when it comes to cancer conversation. The more we have these conversations, the more it helps shed light on these types of cancers, and more research and development can be done. More clinical trials can be carried out, early and effective diagnosis can also be improved, which ultimately save lives.

To find out more about sarcoma and how we treat it at Rutherford Cancer Centres, please visit our sarcoma cancer page.

Thanks for reading!

Mary Oladele, Senior Therapy Radiographer

*Lymphoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs. It develops when the lymphatic system does not work properly.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the named author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rutherford Cancer Centres, Rutherford Health plc, its affiliates, or its employees.

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