The term, Sarcoma, comes from a Greek word meaning "fleshy growth". It is a general class of uncommon cancers* arising in connective tissues. Connective tissues include fat, muscle, blood vessels, deep skin tissues, nerves, bones and cartilage. They are subdivided into two main categories: soft-tissue sarcomas (such as leiomyosarcoma) and non soft-tissue sarcomas (such as the bone cancer, osteosarcoma). Ewing's bone sarcoma contains both soft-tissue and non soft-tissue elements. There are over 50 subtypes of sarcoma.
How rare is rare?
About 1% of all adult cancers are sarcomas and between 15-20% of all children's cancers are sarcomas. There are hundreds of thousands of patients and families struggling with sarcoma worldwide. More statistics here.
Why are sarcomas dangerous?
They are hard to diagnose, hard to detect and hard to treat. Biopsy is the only diagnostic tool and surgery often the only curative treatment. Many sarcomas resist current cancer treatments.
How can I help?
Patients do not get to choose which cancer type will affect them. You can take control as you get to choose which type of cancer you can help find a cure for. Over the past few years, we have made immense strides preventing, detecting and treating cancers. So team up with scientists and clinicians. Sarcoma gets less than 1% of all available cancer funds today and because so little has been done, any contribution will have a huge impact (find out why).
With scientific focus and your money, we can rid the world of this problem.
What physicians are saying
* Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control because of damage to DNA. Normal body cells grow, divide, and die in an orderly fashion. Cancer cells continue to grow and divide and instead of dying, they outlive normal cells and continue to form new abnormal cells. Cancer usually forms as a tumor but not all tumors are cancerous and not all cancers develop as a tumor (Leukemia doesn't for instance). Often, cancer cells travel to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and replace normal tissue. This process is called metastasis. Cancers that arise from skin or organs are called carcinoma and those that arise from supportive tissue are called sarcoma.