Saturday, July 6, 2013

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month

The month of July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. Sarcomas are types of rare cancers that strike children as well as adults. Cancerous (malignant) tumors of the connective tissues are called “sarcomas”. The term sarcoma comes from a Greek word meaning fleshy growth. Sarcoma arises in the connective tissue of the body. Normal connective tissues include fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles, deep skin tissues, and cartilage. Sarcomas are divided into two main groups, bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.

I have a soft tissue sarcoma known as liposarcoma. Liposarcomas are sarcomas that develop in the fatty tissue. My initial tumor was a large lump that I discovered on the back of my upper thigh in May 2008. Soft tissue sarcoma is a rare form of cancer. It comprises approximately one percent of all cancers diagnosed. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are approximately 11,280 new cases of soft tissue sarcoma in the United States each year and approximately 3,900 people die of the disease each year. Slightly more men than women develop soft tissue sarcoma and the race distribution mirrors that of the U.S. population. Due to its rarity, it is crucial for patients to seek a cancer specialist in the treatment of their disease.

For more information about sarcoma, please visit the The Sarcoma Alliance.

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