Raising awareness of sarcoma cancer

Date published: 05 July 2019

It's Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Month. There are key signs and symptoms of the disease to look out for and people are urged to talk to their GP if they think something is wrong.

Malignant tumours

Cancers of the bone and connective tissue (sarcomas) are rare, but they can arise in any part of the body and there are many different types.

Sarcomas are malignant tumours that arise from transformed cells of the connective tissues such as muscle, fat, cartilage or bone. Around eight out of 10 sarcomas occur in soft tissue.

With advances in treatment and care over recent years there is often a lot that can be done to tackle cancer when it appears, but early detection and treatment are essential.

It is important to know your own body, look out for any changes and speak to your doctor if something isn’t right.

Signs and symptoms

Teenagers and young adults do not often develop cancer but bone sarcomas can affect this age group. Therefore, it is worth knowing a few of the possible signs of a bone sarcoma. These may include:

• increasing, unexplained or persistent bone pain or tenderness, particularly pain at rest (and especially if not in the joint)
• swelling over the affected part
• reduced movement
• if the cancer is near a joint, this can make it more difficult to move the joint and it can affect the movement of the whole limb
• if the affected bone is in the leg, it may cause a limp
• if the tumour is in the spine, it may press on nerves, causing weakness or numbness and tingling in the limbs
• broken bone (bone cancer is sometimes discovered when a bone that has been weakened by cancer breaks spontaneously or after a minor fall or accident)

If you do experience these symptoms it is best to seek advice from your GP.  

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