One of the inherent difficulties to diagnosing sarcoma is that there is no proven screening process for the dozens of different types of this cancer. Sarcoma, in general, doesn’t often cause any outward symptoms, and if it does, the pain-related symptoms that develop can often be explained by more common medical issues. Bone pain, for instance, might be discounted as growing pains. This further complicates the diagnostic process, requiring a specialist to determine the exact type of sarcoma in the body and the extent of the tumor formation.
Generally speaking, sarcoma can be categorized as either a soft tissue sarcoma or an osteosarcoma. With soft tissue sarcoma, this disease can develop in the muscles, cartilage, tendons, fat, blood vessels and other soft tissue anywhere in the body. In most cases, this disease does not cause any symptoms and, at most, may result in the growth of a small, painless lump in the body.
Osteosarcoma, on the other hand, is a form of cancer that affects the bone. This type of sarcoma can cause several different symptoms, including:
- Localized pain in the affected bone
- Pain that radiates to the area surrounding the affected bone
- Limping or a change in gait if the sarcoma is in the leg
- Reduced mobility
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty sarcoma team diagnoses and treats all types of sarcoma. Our team includes medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and other professionals who all focus solely on sarcomas and are committed to providing individualized, comprehensive care to our patients.