Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that can develop in soft tissues at several body parts, such as muscles, deep layers of skin, tendon, blood and lymph vessels, bones, or fat tissue. They can also begin in nerves or connective tissues. Soft tissue sarcoma is a rare cancer accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.
Types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
- Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma: it is an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma. It spreads quickly to the other parts of the body. It generally occurs in the legs, arms, or trunk.
- Liposarcoma: Cancer that develops in fat tissue is known as liposarcoma. The tumor is typically found in the stomach.
- Leiomyosarcoma: This cancer starts in the smooth muscle tissues. The most common locations for leiomyosarcoma are the stomach and uterus.
Symptoms of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Patients with soft tissue sarcoma have the following symptoms:
- Painless lump or growth
- Stomach pain
- Blocked intestine
- Swelling in stomach
- Persistent feeling of fullness
- Losing weight without trying
- Unusual fatigue
- Pain while pressing on nerves
- Chest pain
- Trouble in breathing
If the patients are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, they should consult a doctor. At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have some of the best soft tissue sarcoma doctors in Nashik; they are trained to deliver the best care for cancer patients.
Causes of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
The causes of soft tissue sarcoma are not clear. Generally, sarcoma occurs due to errors developed in their DNA. However, there are some risk factors for soft tissue sarcoma:
- Family history of certain diseases, such as neurofibromatosis and Gardner syndrome
- Exposure to several chemicals such as arsenic, vinyl chloride, or dioxin
- Radiation during treatment for other cancers
Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
HCG Manavata Cancer Center, which is the best soft tissue sarcoma hospital in Nashik, has advanced facilities for accurate diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Some of the diagnostic tests for soft tissue sarcoma are:
- X-rays: X-rays are the first test to be done for the lump caused by soft tissue sarcoma. The doctor may also advise chest x-ray to determine if cancer has spread to the lungs.
- CT scans: It obtains detailed cross-sectional images of the chest, abdomen, or back to check for soft tissue sarcoma.
- MRI: MRI scans can show the details of a lump, such as its size, origin, and spread to nearby tissues.
- PET (Positron emission tomography): The test uses a form of radioactive sugar put into the blood. Cancer cells take up more sugar than healthy cells. A device detects the uptake of radioactive sugar.
- Biopsy: If the imaging tests suggest the presence of sarcoma, a small piece of tumor sample will be taken for examination in a lab to confirm the disease. The procedure is called a biopsy.
Treatment for Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Following are the options for soft tissue sarcoma treatment:
Surgery: Surgery commonly treats soft tissue sarcoma. Surgery might remove the tumor according to its size and location. The surgeon removes the entire tumor, including some healthy tissues around it. Radiation and chemotherapy might help to shrink the tumor before surgery.
Radiation therapy: It uses high-energy radiation to kill sarcoma. Doctors recommend radiation therapy in combination with surgery to manage soft tissue sarcoma. Whether the patient receives radiation therapy before or after the surgery depends on the size and site of the tumors.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can be given as the main treatment or adjuvant treatment. Different types of sarcomas show different responses to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs that can be administered directly to the veins or can be taken by mouth. The treatment is useful for cancer that spreads to other organs.
Targeted drug treatment: The treatment involves drugs that target specific vital processes of cancer cells. Targeted therapy works better than chemotherapy and has fewer side effects. These medications are particularly helpful in gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to prevent soft tissue sarcoma?
It is important to avoid the factors that increase the risk of sarcoma. For example, certain chemicals, such as vinyl chloride (plastic), arsenic, dioxin, and herbicides, can increase the risk of getting soft tissue sarcoma. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid their exposure. In addition, you can avoid risk factors by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding drinking and smoking.
How should I cope and seek support for soft tissue sarcoma?
The diagnosis of cancer affects mentally and emotionally. You should learn to avoid stress through yoga and meditation. Get detailed information about sarcoma, including the treatment options and prognosis, for making an informed decision. Having strong relationships with family and friends help you cope with stress.
Should I be concerned about the recurrence of sarcoma?
Yes, you should be concerned about the recurrence of sarcoma. The sarcoma may usually reappear after two to three years of treatment. Sometimes, sarcoma may not reappear for years. The patient should visit the doctor for follow-up tests and monitoring for early diagnosis and treatment.
4. How should I prepare before consultation with doctors?
Make a list of symptoms that you are facing. Write down all the personal information, including age, weight, medical conditions, family history, and lifestyle changes. Make a list of all the medications, including vitamins or supplements that you are taking. Consider taking a family member during the appointment.