Sarcomas are uncommon cancers of the soft tissue and bone and can occur anywhere in the body.
We know there are a multitude of issues around sarcoma cancer in the UK that can have a devastating impact on patients and their families, from poor awareness of the cancer, late or incorrect diagnoses, to outdated treatments that are few and far between.
Over a six-month period, we asked the sarcoma community, including patients, oncologists and carers, what were the problems and issues they faced. As a part of the process, we undertook a nationwide survey of sarcoma patients and interviewed countless members of the patient and clinical communities. Their responses highlighted several important areas that need to be addressed urgently, areas that could be changed through policy levers.
Earlier and more accurate diagnosis for people with sarcoma
All sarcoma patients have access to the best possible care in the UK
Getting patients treated by experts who have experience of treating and managing sarcomas is crucial. All patients with suspected or confirmed sarcoma must have their treatment agreed by a specialist multi-disciplinary team (MDT) at a sarcoma centre, sometimes jointly with age-appropriate teams or those that focus on a particular part of the body, to ensure they receive the most appropriate and best possible care.
Push for better access to the appropriate psychological support for sarcoma patients and their carers
Anyone with the signs and symptoms of sarcoma needs to be seen as early as possible and referred to services that can quickly and accurately confirm the diagnosis. Doing this can save lives.
One in 6 people (17%) waited more than a year to receive an accurate diagnosis.