There are many different types of sarcoma that affect different connective tissues, such as the bones, cartilage and blood vessels. This type of cancer can develop anywhere in the body, but it most often occurs in the head, neck, arms, legs or abdomen. In its early stages, soft tissue sarcoma that is localized to one area of the body may not have noticeable symptoms, or may only present as a small, painless lump. However, as with other cancers, sarcoma that advances to a late stage can spread to distant areas of the body.
Stage 4 sarcoma may metastasize, or spread, to other soft tissues, the liver, skin or lymph nodes. However, the most common place where it spreads is the lungs. This does not mean that a patient with sarcoma has developed lung cancer, as the cancer cells did not originate in the lungs. Instead, the cancer cells in the lung are identical to the original sarcoma, so it is still considered sarcoma that has metastasized to the lungs.
What should I do if I have sarcoma?
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with early-stage or late-stage sarcoma, or you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to this malignancy, you can find the diagnostic and treatment services you require at Moffitt Cancer Center. Our Sarcoma Program is made up of a multispecialty team that is dedicated to treating all types of sarcoma. We take an individualized approach to developing treatment plans, and our cancer experts meet regularly in tumor board meetings to ensure each patient’s case receives the attention it deserves. Eligible patients may also benefit from participating in one of our clinical trials, which can give them access to the latest and most advanced sarcoma treatments before they are available elsewhere.