Written by on 7/12/2014 6:00:00 AM
This month is National Sarcoma Awareness Month. There are two common types of sarcoma: bone and soft tissue. Both are treated based upon the size, location and stage of the tumor.
Soft tissue sarcomas are often treated using surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Depending on the characteristics of the tumor and its grade (growth rate), a combination of all or some of these treatments may be used.
The treatment of bone cancer depends on the size, location, type and stage of the cancer. Chemotherapy with surgery is often the primary treatment. While amputation of a limb is sometimes necessary, using chemotherapy either before or after surgery has allowed physicians to save the limb and improve survival in many cases.
Radiation may be used in Ewing’s sarcoma if surgery is not feasible, or in certain select cases of metastatic disease.
Although very rare, in the two months that the new Community Cancer Center South has been open, the radiation oncology department has treated four patients with sarcoma.
"After a tumor is removed surgically, the radiation oncology team works with the patient to treat the margin of tissue left after resection, targeting microscopic cancer cells," said Dr. Darrel Ross, radiation oncologist at Community Physician Network. "The goal with this treatment is to avoid damaging healthy tissue and to promote wound healing after the grafting."
There are nearly 50 different types of sarcomas and whether the tumor is in the bone or a soft tissue lump, they can develop on all parts of the body. Studies have shown that treating sarcomas can be difficult but the outcomes are much better when the staff is experienced and has expertise.
Community Cancer Care has that expertise. To learn more about how Community treats rare cancers, visit eCommunity.com/cancercare.
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