What is sarcoma?
Sarcoma cancer is rare, but it’s a good idea to get checked out early. Size really does matter when it comes to sarcoma. Sarcomas can affect any part of your body, but a key symptom of sarcoma is a lump that gets bigger quickly.
Most people get diagnosed when their sarcoma is about the size of a large tin of baked beans. Usually, people with sarcoma get it on their arms, legs or torso. But sarcomas might not be visible in some cases – they can also appear in the stomach and intestines as well as behind the abdomen and internal reproductive organs.
Sarcoma is very rare, making up less than 2% of all cancers diagnosed in the UK each year.
How common is sarcoma?
Sarcoma is rare. Only about 15 people are diagnosed with sarcoma every day in the UK, which amounts to around 5,300 people per year. To put it another way about 3 out of every 200 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK have sarcoma.
What causes sarcoma?
We don’t fully understand why sarcomas occur. More research needs to be done to fully understand how these cancers develop and spread and how best to diagnose and treat them.
If you are diagnosed with sarcoma, help is here. Sarcoma UK will help you and your loved ones at any stage of the journey.
What are the symptoms?
While a lump that is growing, changing, or bigger than a golf ball is usually a key symptom. The main symptoms of sarcoma are:
- A lump which is growing, changing, or bigger than a golf ball
- Swelling, tenderness or pain in or around the bone which may come and go and may be worse at night
- Stomach pain, feeling sick, loss of appetite or feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
- Blood in your poo or vomit
Most lumps and pains are not sarcomas, and this list doesn’t cover all possible symptoms.
Can sarcoma be treated?
Yes. While it depends on the type of sarcoma, many people can have tumours removed with surgery. For other types, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are options.