Sarcoma cancer is a cancer that affects nerves, muscles, joints, bone, fat and blood vessels, or the body’s “connective tissues”. A cancer that affects individuals of all ages, sarcoma cancer is especially prevalent in children and young adults. Due to the fact that the tissues affected can be found anywhere on the body, sarcoma cancer does not target one particular area of the body. About 43 percent of sarcoma cancers occur in the extremities (e.g., arms, legs); 34 percent occur in and around the internal organs (e.g., uterus, heart); 10 percent occur in the trunk (e.g., chest, back); and 13 percent occur in other locations. In very rare cases, these tumors develop in the gastrointestinal tract. A small percentage of these are GISTs. Malignant GISTs occur most commonly in the stomach and small intestine.


Major Types of Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Adults

Tissue of Origin

Type of Cancer

Usual Location in the Body

Fibrous tissue

Fibrosarcoma

Arms, legs, trunk

Malignant fibrous

Legs

Hystiocytoma

Dermatofibrosarcoma

Trunk

Fat

Liposarcoma

Arms, legs, trunk

Muscle

 

 

Striated muscle

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Arms, legs

Smooth muscle

 

 

Blood vessels

Hemangiosarcoma

Arms, legs, trunk

Hemangiosarcoma

Arms, legs, trunk

Lymph vessels

Lymphangiosarcoma

Arms

Synovial tissue (linings of joint cavities, tendon sheaths)

Synovial sarcoma

Legs

Peripheral nerves

Neurofibrosarcoma

Arms, legs, trunk

Cartilage and bone-forming tissue

Extraskeletal chondrosarcoma

Legs

Extraskeletal osteosarcoma

Legs, trunk (not involving the bone)

* Source: http://www.curesarcoma.org/index.php/patient_resources/

Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancers)

Bone cancers can be divided into three groups:

Osteosarcoma - often seen in children and young adults (ages 10-25). Treatment usually involves chemotherapy and surgery. Chemotherapy is given on the sarcoma unit on an inpatient basis. Surgery usually involves a limb salvage/sparing procedure. Occasionally amputation is required but this is very rare nowadays, approximately 5% of the time.

Chondrosarcoma - most frequently seen in adults over the age of 50. This type of tumor arises in the cartilage. Treatment usually involves surgical removal.

Ewings Sarcoma - most often found in the middle part of the bones such as the pelvis and lower extremities. Seen primarily in children and young adults (age 10-25). Treatment usually involves chemotherapy and surgery. Occasionally radiation may be included in the treatment.


Cancers of the Bone

Types of Cancer

Tissue of Origin

Common Locations

Common Ages

Osteosarcoma

Osteoid

Knees, upper legs, upper arms

10–25

Chondrosarcoma

Cartilage

Pelvis, upper legs, shoulders

50–60

Ewing’s Sarcoma

Immature nerve tissue, usually in bone marrow

Pelvis, upper legs, ribs, arms

10–20

* Source: http://www.curesarcoma.org/index.php/patient_resources/

Useful links:

Connective Tissue Oncology Society
The Ewing's Cancer Foundation of Canada
Mount Sinai Hospital - Sarcoma Unit
The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative
Cancer Care Ontario | Action Cancer Ontario — Sarcoma Disease Site Group
Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration
U.S. National Institute of Health — National Cancer Institute