Sarcoma Symptoms and Diagnosis
and Symptoms of Sarcomas
The manifestation of
sarcoma symptoms differ depending on the tissue affected by the tumor, and can vary from one patient to
another. But the first sign or symptom of soft tissue sarcomas tend to be characterized
by lumps or masses that rarely
cause pain, swelling. Presence of a persistent painful lump is often an indication
of a sarcoma; although a lump or mass can be benign (non-cancerous), resulting from a different type of
cancer or another medical condition.
When it comes
to bone sarcomas(bone cancer), Pain is
common indicative symptom, although certain types of bone cancer can be painless at
the beginning. When the bone tumor is painful, it tends to manifest by persistent
or unusual pain or swelling inside or near a bone.
Nevertheless, a patient
cannot base on these indications to conclude he has cancer. Only medical professionals can confirm the disease
after diagnostic procedures such as imagine techniques and biopsy.
Sarcoma diagnosis often
include the following procedures and tests:
Physical Exam and Review of Medical Record –
the first step the oncologist will take to diagnose the sarcoma is performing a physical examination
of the patient to check for signs of the
disease: abnormal masses or other abnormal signs.
In addition, he will check the patient's history to have a better
idea of his health habits and past
illnesses and treatments.
Blood Test – a complete blood
count(CBC) or different blood tests
can be performed to detect and measure blood levels of specific
markers of sarcomas. The search is after substances
released when certain types of
tumors are present. Abnormal levels of these markers in blood are
indicative of the presence
of the corresponding tumor.
For example, the doctor can perform a blood test to measure the
levels of alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme involved in bone mineralization and can be
found in the blood in abundance during growth and bone repair; but which is also more abundant with the presence of a bone cancer.
is important to
create pictures of the inside of the patient’s body
and print on a film. This procedure can help detect the tumor but it is
not enough to confirm the presence of the Sarcoma.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET or
CT scan) – CT scan allows a health professional to detect malignant tissue
or cells in the body. Usually, a small amount
into the bloodstream before the procedure to facilitate the visibility of the
cancer. Then, the scanner rotates around the patient and takes images of the places where the
glucose is absorbed by the body.
Malignant tumors, which have a more active metabolism, use more glucose so they appear more intensely than normal cells
that use less glucose.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) -
medical imaging technique
a magnet to create a magnetic field and
radio waves in order to produce a series of detailed pictures
of specific regions within the
body on a computer. This allows the specialist to detect the location and size of the
Bone Scan - this is
procedure which allows the diagnosis and detection of several types of
To perform this test
, the patient is injected by a
very small amount of
radioactive agent prior taking picture.
radioactive material being attached to
, it allows the radiologist to image and determine the size and extent of the cancer.
Angiography - also known
, in angiography is an imaging technique that helps health professional to
blockages and other blood vessel problems. During the procedure,
blood vessel images are taken by X-ray
right after the injection of a
substance opaque to X-rays
in the blood vessels
. This procedure allows tracing the path of the
opaque substance and identifies any blockages in the blood vessels.
Biopsy – This
procedure is performed to confirm the diagnosis all different types of cancer. Usually, it consists
removal of cells
or small tissue sample for
examination under a microscope to
check for signs of cancer cells.
Sarcoma Causes and Risk
Sarcoma Treatment and Survival