What is a Sarcoma?

Sarcomas are a family of rare tumours which affect mesenchymal tissues;

Although each share many characteristics, sarcomas of these various tissues behave differently.

The word Sarcoma comes from the Greek "Sarko" meaning flesh.

Sarcomas are rare and account for about 1% of all malignancies.
Family doctors may see only one or two in their career.

Technically, sarcomas and cancers are different entities.

How do I know if I have a sarcoma?

A Soft Tissue Sarcoma usually develops as a painless lump. This lump will gradually grow.
It is usually mobile to begin with (can be moved in more than one direction).
As the lump grows and gets steadily larger it may become fixed (immovable),
Pain is often a late feature and its absence should therefore not be used to exclude a sarcoma.
The lump can, on occasions, grow rapidly.

Many sarcomas develop in the lower and upper limbs. If you were to find a lump in one limb check to see if there is a similar lump in the opposite limb!
If not, bring it to GP’s attention. If your GP is worried he, or she, will refer you to a member of the sarcoma team

Sarcoma Teams specialise in treating these rare tumours and, as such, represent a concentration of expertise.

It is important that any suspected sarcoma is investigated and treated by them.

Sarcoma, Derriford, Plymouth, Devon, Cornwall, Peninsula, Southwest, South West, Angiosarcoma, Liposarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Leiomyosarcoma, MFH, Malignant Fibro Histio Sarcoma, South West, Plymouth, Treliske