Sarcomas are rare malignant tumours that arise from transformed cells of the connective tissues such as muscle, fat, cartilage or bone.
Approximately 80% arise in soft tissue (STS) and 60% occur in the lower limb. They may, however, affect almost any part of the body.
STS may occur at any age, and although most common in middle aged and older adults, they only represent 1% of all adult cancers. They are relatively more common in children and young adults, accounting for 7–10% of paediatric malignancies. In Ireland approximately 200-250 adults are diagnosed with some form of sarcoma each year.
It is difficult to generalise about specific symptoms and the following should act as a guide only:
Remember that all these symptoms are more frequently caused by conditions other than cancer. This is a rare disease, and it is much more likely that some other problem is causing your symptoms.
The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful. So it is important that you go to your GP as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.
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