Sarcoma is a group of disorders that develop in the connective, soft tissues and bones of vital joints. There are more than 70 known types of sarcoma that affect the muscles, blood vessels, tissue, nerves, tendons, and lining of the joints. But, only a few develop aggressive symptoms and trigger severe health complications. While the exact cause is unclear, the aggressive development is linked to mutations that affect the DNA structure.
Here are the three known forms of sarcoma:
- Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma (UPS)
UPS is one of the more aggressive forms of sarcoma diagnosed. It affects the soft tissue or bones in the body. Statistics indicate only one in one hundred thousand cases report the development of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. The risk is also high among older men above the age of 60. Usually, this soft tissue and bone sarcoma develop from the thigh and moves towards the arm, neck, and head region. UPS also poses a high risk of metastasis, wherein the tumor can spread to other organs or parts of the body. The sarcoma presents a number of noticeable symptoms, ranging from abnormal deformities in the lower limbs and muscles to fever and unexplained weight loss and fatigue.
Liposarcoma and several of its subtypes are tumors that mainly affect the fatty tissues in the knee, thigh, and abdomen. Adults between the ages of 50 and 65 are at a higher risk of developing this form of soft tissue cancer. But there are certain external factors, including exposure to radiation, chemicals, genetic syndromes, and abnormalities in the lymphatic system, that trigger liposarcoma growth. Cancer exhibits visible warning signs that indicate tumor growths observed in the soft tissues. Painful lumps that continue to grow, numbness in the affected area, blood in vomit or stool, and abdominal pain or cramping are all indicators of fatty tissue sarcoma growths. However, a biopsy must be done to confirm the condition by collecting tissue samples from the affected region.
- Leiomyosarcoma (LMS)
Statistics indicate that only six people per million are at risk or develop this rare form of smooth muscle tissue sarcoma. The cancerous growth usually affects the hollow organs in the body, like blood vessels, bladder, uterus (among women), and stomach. Note that LMS is quite an aggressive form of cancer, and the tumors can achieve metastasis quickly if left unchecked. Also, the symptoms are hard to detect, as tumor lumps start forming only at a later stage when cancer develops quickly. One will then experience pain in the region and suffer from frequent bouts of vomiting followed by unexplained weight loss. Imaging tests are done to ascertain the size of the tumor and locate its growth in the affected region. Doctors also perform a biopsy to further confirm that the condition is indeed LMS as sarcoma diagnosis can be tricky and difficult to pinpoint only with MRIs, CT scans, or angiography.