Sarcomas are cancers of the bones, soft or connective tissues, muscles, or cartilage. These rare cancers arise from the supportive tissues of the body rather from the organs, like the lung or GI tract. They are most often located in the extremities or the deep tissues in the abdomen. However, they can develop in virtually any structure of the body. They also often spread, or metastasize, to other organs and parts of the body.
Team members meet monthly as a group to review imaging, pathology, and other matters unique to each patient. Together, they consider and discuss a patient's exact type of cancer, how advanced it is, and other conditions or personal matters that may impact treatment recommendations. Members follow National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines in developing treatment plans.
This team also includes a coordinator who helps guide adult and pediatric patients through the ins and outs of cancer treatment and coordinates their initial visit.
Contact the coordinator to schedule appointments or ask questions beforehand. We’ll work to schedule all of your appointments at the same time to make your care easier and more convenient. Most services will be at the Children’s Cancer Center at Batson Children’s Hospital or the Cancer Center and Research Institute in the Jackson Medical Mall, but we also provide cancer care on the main campus at University Hospital and the University Physicians Pavilion.
UMMC offers the leading-edge technology and treatment for sarcoma, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Unique to sarcoma therapy, we specialize in limb-sparing treatment that often allows a patient to retain and arm or leg rather than undergo amputation.
Cancer can take an emotional toll on you and your family, and our job is to help you through it. Whether you need financial assistance, advice, counseling, referral to a support group, or any other social or medical services, your nurse coordinator can quickly connect you to the care you’re looking for.
Before recommending treatment, our doctors will evaluate the characteristics of the sarcoma, where the tumor is located, and if it has spread to other parts of the body. Staging incorporates these elements to give our sarcoma care team an idea of how big the tumor is or how far the cancer has spread. Sarcomas are described as localized, meaning it has not spread outside the original area, or metastatic, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body, often times the lungs.
Other factors in staging are:
Definitions provided by the website of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov).
Primary bone cancer is cancer that forms in cells of the bone. Some types of primary bone cancer are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and chondrosarcoma.
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Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor elsewhere in the body to the bone.
A type of soft tissue sarcoma that develops in cells that form a protective sheath (covering) around peripheral nerves, which are nerves that are outside of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Also called malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST).
A cancer of the bone that usually affects the large bones of the arm or leg. It occurs most commonly in young people and affects more males than females. Also called osteogenic sarcoma.
A type of cancer that begins in bone or in the soft tissues of the body, including cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, fibrous tissue, or other connective or supportive tissue. Different types of sarcoma are based on where the cancer forms. For example, osteosarcoma forms in bone, liposarcoma forms in fat, and rhabdomyosarcoma forms in muscle.
A cancer that begins in the muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or other supporting tissue of the body.