Raising Awareness for Sarcoma: The Forgotten Cancer

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. According to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, sarcoma is often considered “the forgotten cancer” due to the public’s lack of understanding and awareness of the disease. At Greensboro Imaging, we want to help educate Triad residents about this rare form of cancer and promote advocacy in our community.

What is Sarcoma?

Sarcoma is a cancer of the connective tissues that is most often found in the arms and legs. These tumors can occur anywhere in the body but generally affect the limbs because that’s where the majority of tissue structures like nerves, muscles and blood vessels reside. Sarcoma makes up only 1% of adult cancers but tends to be more prevalent among children, accounting for approximately 20% of all childhood cancers. Even though the disease is rare, there are roughly 50 different types of soft tissue sarcomas.

Symptoms:

  • Pain or soreness that may worsen at night
  • Swelling
  • Limping

If not treated early, sarcoma can metastasize and spread to other areas of the body. Currently, treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Because each case tends to be unique to the individual, doctors and patients must work together to find the best personal treatment options.

Individuals who have a strong family history of sarcoma or have had cancer when they were young have a higher risk of developing sarcoma as an adult. In these cases, we recommended speaking to a specialist about the benefits of genetic testing.

Getting Involved

According to the American Cancer Society, sarcoma cancer is resistant to treatment in more than half of cases. There are few known risk factors and no known preventative measures. This month is a great time to start getting involved, raising awareness and supporting sarcoma research.

Ways to Help:

  • Get social: The Sarcoma Foundation of America offers shareable graphics to post on social media. Sharing content can help spread awareness and educate others.
  • Attend events: The Sarcoma Foundation also hosts races, walks and other events. The full schedule can be found online if you’re interested in finding an event in your area.
  • Donate: Donating to support foundations and research can make a huge difference in finding a cure.

Together, we can advocate for sarcoma patients in our community and educate friends, family and neighbors.

To learn more about Greensboro Imaging and our knowledgeable radiologists, or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 336.433.5000.