Published: Aug. 26, 2011
Updated: Aug. 26, 2011
A sarcoma is a cancerous tumor of the soft tissues that weave through the body, including the muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, and the tissues around joints. Sarcomas most commonly form in the arm, legs, and abdomen.
Some of the most common types of sarcoma in children are:
Symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer. Many of the symptoms of childhood cancers can also be symptoms of other diseases. Be sure to consult your doctor if your child has symptoms that seem unusual for him or her.
Below are symptoms that often occur with sarcoma:
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are the standard treatments for many childhood cancers. Your child may receive one or more treatments depending on the stage or grade of the cancer, your child’s general health, and other factors.
To treat sarcomas, surgery is often combined with chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant may be used to treat recurrent Ewing sarcoma.
Radiation alone may be used to remove bone tumors (such as osteosarcoma).
Targeted therapy consists of drugs that can stop tumors from growing by pinpointing the changes in genes that lead to cancer. Targeted therapy may be used to treat brain tumors, leukemias, and sarcomas.
Samarium (a drug that kills cells in the bone marrow, including cancerous cells) may be used to treat osteosarcoma. Treatment with samarium is usually followed by a transplant with the patient’s own stem cells, which were stored before treatment. The idea is that new blood cells grow to replace the cancerous ones.