Often times, when people hear the word “cancer”, sarcoma isn’t one that quickly comes to mind. Some may not even know what a sarcoma is–so it’s no surprise that it’s considered the “forgotten cancer.” To bring it to the forefront, July has been declared Sarcoma Awareness Month. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to learn more about this rare disease.
What is Sarcoma?
Sarcomas can be broken into two main types: soft tissue sarcomas and bone sarcomas. There are, however, more than 50 different subtypes that fall under these two categories.
Soft tissue sarcoma is a broad term for cancers that start in soft tissues – such as muscle, tendons, fat, lymph and blood vessels, and nerves. These soft tissue cancers can develop anywhere in the body but are found mostly in the arms, legs, chest, and abdomen.
Sarcomas account for 1% of all adult cancers and 15% of all childhood cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates about 13,000 soft tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018.