Soft tissue sarcoma is a malignant tumor (cancer) that supports and connects structures around the body. Included in these tissues are fats, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, tendons, and linings in the joints.
Soft tissue sarcoma can attack any part of the body. However, it generally attacks the abdominal area, arms, and limbs. This sarcoma can also attack all ages, from children to older persons. However, these cases are more common in the elderly, and the risk of experiencing soft tissue sarcoma will increase with age.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Types
There are several types of soft tissue sarcoma that have genetic mutations, such as:
- Hemangiosarcoma – occurs in the blood vessels.
- Liposarcoma – occurs in fatty tissue.
- Leiomyosarcoma – occurs in smooth muscle tissue.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma – occurs in muscle tissue.
- Osteosarcoma – occurs in the bones.
- Angiosarcoma – occurs in the lymph vessels.
- Fibrosarcoma – occurs in fibrous connective tissue.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Causes
Cancer occurs due to changes or mutations of DNA in the cell so that it develops out of control. These abnormal cells then form tumors that can attack surrounding tissue, and spread to other parts of the body. However, the cause of the DNA mutation cannot be known for certain.
Some factors associated with sarcoma incidence are:
Soft tissue sarcoma can attack any age, including children. However, the disease is more common in middle-aged and elderly persons. The risk will increase with age.
A person can experience sarcoma as a result of radiation undergone for other tumor therapy.
Exposure to various chemicals can increase the risk of sarcoma. Some types of chemicals related to sarcoma events are herbicides, asbestos, and arsenic.
Genetic predispositions such as Gardner’s syndrome, von Recklinghausen’s neurofibromatosis type 1, and hereditary retinoblastoma. Damage to the TP53 gene can lead to a Li Fraumeni syndrome, which increases the risk of sarcoma.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Symptoms
Symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma can be felt by people in the form of lumps or swelling and pain if it comes to pressing on nerves or parts of the muscles. In addition, symptoms can also follow areas of the body where soft tissue sarcoma develops, such as abdominal pain or constipation due to the presence of developing tumors. Do a check-up with the doctor, if indeed the symptoms that appear do not go away or even get worse.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Diagnosis
Determination of the diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma can be done by doing the following:
Medical interviews and physical examinations.
In the early stages of the disease, sarcoma does not cause significant symptoms, so sufferers often do not directly check themselves to the doctor.
Diagnosis of sarcoma at an early stage is quite difficult because it often does not cause pain and the location of tumors that are in the body. But sarcoma can arise in locations that easily look like extremities. Tumors in the extremities can cause lumps that limit movement.
Computed Tomography Scan (CT-scan).
CT Scans can provide data on the shape and size of the tumor and its relationship to surrounding tissues.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the imaging modality of choice for extremity sarcoma. This examination can provide a detailed picture of the muscles and distinguish between the bones, vascular structures, and tumors.
There are several tissue retrieval techniques, such as core-needle biopsy, incision biopsy, and excision biopsy. These biopsy techniques can be performed to retrieve sufficient tissue for use in some diagnostic tests –such as electron microscopes, Cyto-genetics and flow cytometry.