“There is urgent need to raise awareness about Sarcoma, the cancer of Bone & Soft tissues, to save life and limbs of young who are falling prey to this cancer. There are about 250 types of Cancers out of which only few major ones are being talked about. But there are many for which we are not even aware of. One such Cancer is Sarcoma,” says Dr. Manish Pruthi, Consultant – Musculoskeletal Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Rohini and Niti Bagh.
Dr. Manish Pruthi
A sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer. Sarcomas are different from the much more common carcinomas because they happen in a different kind of tissue. Sarcomas grow in connective tissue – cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. These tumors are most common in the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerves, and blood vessels of your arms and legs, but they can also happen in other areas of your body.
Though the sarcomas accounts for 3% of all cancers in adults and 10 – 15% in pediatric age group, the disease needs to be considered in right earnest to save life as well as limbs.
The impact is significant because a child developing a cancer and that too in a limb and sometime requiring amputation or big surgeries and then getting restricted for whole life is significant.
“There is a need of awareness as the cases are being reported late and there’s risk of losing limb in young children. Another reason for lack of awareness is that there are not many surgeons who are doing Sarcoma Surgeries,” says Dr. Pruthi.
Usually the tumor gets un-noticed in limbs or an inappropriate surgery is done. In such case this leads to damage and major risk of losing the limb is there, which affects the life of young children / adults. We need to preserve the function and cure the cancer.
Sarcoma happens in young age and at that age there are no major risk factors like chewing tobacco or poor lifestyle. So initially when it happens, most parents are naturally in shock. In NCR, a major issue is that not many hospitals have Sarcoma management teams.
Talking about prevention, Dr. Pruthi says, “Prevention doesn’t play a role here, as there is no risk factor, what’s important is early diagnosis. One should not ignore the persistent pain or increasing swelling in limbs, which is not responding to conservative treatment. Recently we treated a patient from Canada for Sarcoma, but he also remained poorly diagnosed for nearly two months.“
It’s not that every tumor / lump is cancerous, it could be an infection or a benign tumor. Sarcoma is a rare condition to have. Emphasis should be on not ignoring increasing swelling or pain in limbs especially in young adults, as it could be Sarcoma. Be aware, create awareness, diagnose Sarcoma early, Dr. Pruthi winds up.