The "Forgotten Cancer"

Jun 28, 2021 | Angie Murad | @muradangie

The month of July is dedicated to raising awareness for Sarcoma. According to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, it is considered the “forgotten cancer” due to a lack of awareness and understanding.  My goal in writing this article is to educate the public about Sarcoma, provide resources for patients, families, and caregivers, and to encourage those with the disease to consider participating in research to help find better therapies.

What is Sarcoma?

Sarcoma can occur throughout the body and is used as a general term to encompass a broad group of rare cancers that begin in the bone and soft tissue. Over 70 types of Sarcoma exist and like many other cancers, treatment varies based on type and location. The most common types are Liposarcoma, Leiomyosarcoma, and Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma.

The word “sarcoma” is a Greek derivative meaning, “fleshy growth.” This growth, or tumor, can take hold in one’s nerves, fat, blood vessels, bones, cartilage, deep skin tissues and muscles. Sarcomas can affect children and adults. Each year in the United States an estimated 17,000 individuals are diagnosed with Sarcoma.

To learn even more about Sarcoma check out the latest Mayo Clinic Podcast featuring Dr. Siontis who discusses the various forms of sarcoma, treatment options, and research that's underway on new therapies and ways to treat sarcoma.

Common Symptoms Associated with Sarcoma

Commonly reported symptoms include a noticeable lump or pain anywhere on your body; swelling; fatigue; or weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult with your health care provider. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or targeted therapy. For those diagnosed with sarcoma, and interested in participating in clinical research, please visit Mayo Clinic Clinical Trials.

Resources for Patients, Family, and Caregivers

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, causing stress and anxiety when faced with uncertainty. During this time, it may be helpful to learn about your diagnosis to assist in making decisions regarding your care. Having family and friends to lean on and confide in can help provide needed support. Lastly, consider support groups available virtually or locally such as Rein in Sarcoma or Immerman Angels. The Sarcoma Alliance and National Cancer Institute can serve as additional sources of information as well.

What has worked for you in learning more about your diagnosis or in your efforts to raise awareness about cancer? We can learn from one another in the quest to educate and cure cancer!

Connect with others: Diagnosed with sarcoma? Let’s share 

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Cancer Education blog.

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