Since it is Sarcoma awareness Month this July, it seemed like the perfect topic to talk about this Monday. Now I had no idea what it was until earlier today so I thought I would share what I found out.
Now, I am no professional and I had never heard of this before so I apologise that my information is not going to have a personal touch to it. This post is solely to educate and raise awareness of the illness to others who, like me, had never heard of it before.
Sarcoma can be defined as “a group of rare cancers affecting the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures and organs” (NHS). Now this can be anything from blood vessels and skin tissue to fat muscle and ligaments. It can affect both inside and outside the body as well as affecting any part of the body, but mainly arms and legs.
Around 3,300 people in the UK are diagnosed each year!
So what exactly are the causes of this and what symptoms should we be aware of?
Though the cause tends to be unclear, Doctors believe that there are several factors which could link to the cause of Sarcoma. For example, if you have had radiotherapy in the past (perhaps for a previous cancerous illness), years after that treatment Sarcoma could develop. Other examples can included if you are elderly, have been exposed to chemicals such as dioxins, phenoxyacetic herbicides or vinyl chloride, or it could be down to genetics.
Now, due to Sarcoma being able to affect anywhere in the body it makes the signs and symptoms rather vast. Also, in its early stages of development it does not cause any symptoms at all. However, professionals state that the main symptoms include a painless lump underneath the skin that cannot easily be moved, but over time grows and becomes more painful due to pressing against muscles and nerves.
The NHS state that if a lump is the size of a golf ball this should be classed as suspicious and you should visit your GP!
Here are some facts about Sarcoma.
- 10 people every day are diagnosed with sarcoma in the UK.
- when it comes to cancer diagnosis per year, Sarcoma only makes up 1%
- There are three main types of sarcoma: soft tissue sarcoma, bone sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST).
- There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma.
- Sarcomas make up 15% of all childhood cancers (0-14 years) and 11% of all cancer diagnoses in teenagers and young people (15-24 years)
If you would like to find out more about Sarcoma please, follow the links below. Also, follow the links to other bloggers talking about Sarcoma and living with the different types.. I hope you found this post interesting and are now educated of Sarcoma for their awareness month!
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