July is Sarcoma Awareness Month! Check out the article, below, to learn more about sarcoma, how they form, and why they are often underestimated.
Sarcomas are a rare group of cancers in which malignant cells form in the bones or soft tissues of the body.
Soft tissue sarcomas form in cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, tendons, nerves, and around joints. Osteosarcomas develop in bone; liposarcomas form in fat; rhabdomyosarcomas form in muscle; and Ewing sarcomas form in bone and soft tissue.
Bone and joint cancer is most frequently diagnosed among teenagers, while soft tissue cancers typically affect those 55 years or older.
In 2017, over 12,300 cases of soft tissue sarcoma and 3,200 cases of bone sarcomas will be diagnosed in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER). Approximately 5,000 and 1,550 people are expected to die from soft tissue and bone sarcomas, respectively. The five-year survival rate for soft-tissue sarcomas is 64 percent, while the rate is 67 percent for bone sarcomas.
Because sarcomas are difficult to distinguish from other cancers when they are found within organs, their incidence is probably underestimated, according to the National Cancer Institute.