Each year in July charities and organisations come together to raise awareness for sarcoma, which is one of the least understood forms of cancer.


Due to the lack of understanding and the complex diagnostic pathway, patients can often experience a delayed diagnosis, which can decrease chances of survival and limit the treatment options available.


We will now take a look at some of the symptoms and ways that you can prevent the risk and the various symptoms of this condition.


What is Sarcoma?


Sarcoma is a rarer form of cancer that can affect many different parts of the body. Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscles, bones, cartilage, and fatty tissues. They can also occur in blood vessels, tendons and nerves. There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma and they are more commonly found in the arms, legs and trunk of the body.  They are also discovered in the stomach, intestines, abdomen and reproductive system.


Each day in the UK 15 people are diagnosed with sarcoma which equates to around 5,300 people a year. Whilst it is not a common type of cancer (to put it into perspective – 46,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year)  the number of people diagnosed each year is on the increase.


Spotting the Symptoms of Sarcoma


The symptoms of Sarcoma can include:

  • Unexplained swelling or lumps anywhere on the body
  • Lumps that are painless and do not to move around
  • Lumps that grow larger or start to become more painful over time
  • Swelling of the tummy, abdominal pain with a feeling of fullness or constipation
  • Swelling around the lungs that causes shortness of breath or a cough
  • Bone pain that progressively worsens over time
  • Swelling and redness on bones or joints
  • Weakness of the bones leading to fractures and injuries

Because many symptoms are subtle and painless there is often a delay in diagnosis of this condition.


How to Minimise the Risk of Sarcoma Cancer


As with all other forms of cancer there is no proven way to prevent it. People who develop this form of cancer do not have any major risk factors or underlying health issues, so doctors are unable to give advice on how to minimise risk.


From sarcoma research we do know that the following factors may be attributed to developing this form of soft tissue or bone cancer:

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, especially herbicides and dioxin

Leading a healthy lifestyle will also help to lower risk of developing all types of cancers. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, sleeping well, keeping stress levels low, wearing sunscreen, refraining from smoking or drinking alcohol can all help you to lead a healthier lifestyle which help reduce risk and also give you a better chance of fighting and recovering from cancer.


Delayed Diagnosis


Time is often of the essence when it comes to diagnosing and treating any type of cancer.


Due to the subtle, misleading symptoms and lack of knowledge on this form of cancer, diagnosis may be slower than desired. This is where referrals to a specialist, scans and biopsies are crucial to detect the cancer as early as possible.


An earlier diagnosis can often mean that greater treatment options are available.


Making a Claim for Clinical Negligence


More often than not, people are happy with the diligent and professional care received from their medical professionals.


If, however, you have any concerns about your treatment or the treatment of a friend or family member, our Clinical Negligence Department may be able to assist.


If you would like to discuss a claim then please speak to our team today on 01256 844888, email enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant who is available on our website throughout the day.


Other articles you may be interested in reading:

6 Signs That You May Have a Medical Negligence Case

Bowel Cancer Awareness

15 Things to Ask your GP if you are Over 50


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.