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7 STEPS TO UNDERSTAND SARCOMA IN JULY AWARENESS MONTH

  1. Sarcomas: malignant tumors (cancer) that arise from bone and structural soft tissues of the body – bone, muscle, nerve, abdominal wall and trunk, retroperitoneum, fat. Most common location is limbs.
  2. Risk Factors: in most cases, no known risk factors. Few risk factors are family history, radiation exposure, and certain mutations.
  3. Lumps and Bumps: mostly present as a lump in the affected area so don’t ignore any lump or bump. Other symptoms include pain, the deficit in the function of an affected organ like limp or blood in stool or vomitus.
  4. Care for Cure and Biopsy: sarcoma is diagnosed by patient evaluation, imaging like CT/ MRI and biopsy. It is very important to have biopsy planning for sarcoma in consultation with the surgical oncologist who will perform the surgery because it has a great role in limb salvage.
  5. Spread: The most common organ affected by distant spread i.e. metastasis is Lung.
  6. Treatment: Surgery is the mainstay of treatment and cures early-stage sarcomas. It may be required to have radiation therapy depending upon the stage and pathological features. Chemotherapy is required depending upon pathology and metastasis. Targeted therapy also has a role.
  7. Limb Salvage Surgery: With advancements in modern technologies and drugs, limb salvage surgeries are possible in most limb sarcomas and bone sarcomas.

Awareness regarding these facts leads to early diagnosis and treatment plan for any problem. With due care a good functional outcome is possible.

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