What does a Sarcoma lump look and feel like?

This article will provide you with the information you need to determine whether or not a lump, new or old, is a cause for concern and what you should do next. If you are unsure, consult your primary care physician.

What is Sarcoma?

A Sarcoma develops in soft tissues such as muscle, nerves or fibrous tissue, tendons, or blood vessels. Sarcomas are cancerous tumors that can develop anywhere in the body. However, they usually appear as a lump in the arms or legs. Bone sarcomas are more challenging to detect.

Sarcoma is a very deadly disease. The good news is, it’s rare. According to the American Cancer Society, 13,190 new soft-tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed in America this year. Over the same period, breast cancer cases will exceed 265,000 and prostate cancer cases nearly 270,000.

Sarcoma: Symptoms and signs

Sarcoma is best diagnosed and treated early. Four qualities can help you identify if a lump, new or old, is a potential sarcoma.

Location

Sarcomas are most common in the arms and legs, especially at the top of the limbs. Sarcomas can also occur in the head, neck, buttocks, and chest. “Sarcomas may develop into large, deep masses on the upper extremity or just below the buttocks. They can also occur in the thigh and upper arm.

Conversely, Sarcomas are less likely in the hands and feet. Dr. Weber says that the nodules shouldn’t be ignored but are less likely to develop into sarcomas.

Cysts and other benign (noncancerous) soft tissue lumps are commonly found on the fingers and feet. A superficial or intramuscular fat node or lipoma is one of the most common soft tissues in the hands and foot. It is benign, slow-growing, and can be asymptomatic. A lipoma is usually doughy and not tender. It can also move when you apply pressure to it.

Rate of growth

Dr. Weber suggests that you have it evaluated if your lump is proliferating. If your lump has grown to the size of a golf ball, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If it has remained the same in size for a few months or weeks, it is most likely not a Sarcoma. A medical evaluation can determine it. Depending on its size and location, MRI or ultrasonography may be required.

You can also find out more about Pain.

Many people mistakenly believe they do not need to be evaluated because most soft-tissue sarcomas are painless.

It can be painful when a sarcoma proliferates and is located in a sensitive area, such as the sciatic nerve. Pain is one of the symptoms that Sarcoma can cause when it starts in the bone.

Firmness

A firm lump could be more than just a fat deposit. If the node is soft and quickly moved, it might not be as serious from a sarcoma standpoint, but Dr. Weber still recommends that you keep an eye on it to ensure.

What to do if you suspect that you might have Sarcoma

The characteristics listed above are intended to raise your awareness about Sarcoma. However, it is essential to place little emphasis on any of them. Professionals will use these benchmarks to assess your lump if it warrants further examination.

Begin with your primary doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical history to decide whether an MRI using contrast dye or an ultrasound is needed to diagnose your lump.

Dr. Weber advises that the lump can be monitored over time if it is benign.

Your next appointment with Dr. Weber should be if the imaging results are not conclusive or indicate a concern. They will review your imaging and history and perform their own exam to determine if your lump needs to be monitored or biopsied.

Expertise Is Critical

Sarcomas are rare and require a thorough understanding of the disease to diagnose and treat them. Over the years, Dr. Weber cared for many patients with lumps removed from them by surgeons not specializing in sarcomas. Sometimes, the initial surgery is performed without a prior needle biopsy or imaging. Cancerous cells will likely remain in the surgical site if Sarcoma is removed without a large margin of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. In this case, a second surgery and radiation are usually required to remove all tumor cells.

Dr. Weber explains, “You want a sarcoma to be removed by a specialist specializing in sarcoma treatment.”

She says your sarcoma team’s expertise should go beyond the surgeon’s because it is difficult to diagnose.

Dr. Weber states that “in general, radiologists and pathologists who don’t treat sarcomas every day are more likely to make mistakes because they’re not seeing them as often.” The most important thing is to confirm that it’s Sarcoma. It’s essential to determine whether or not it is a sarcoma. It can be challenging to tell a benign from a malignant tumor if you are a pathologist or radiologist who does it a lot.

There are over 50 types of soft-tissue Sarcoma, which further complicates the diagnosis.

Sarcoma Treatment

The treatment for Sarcoma can vary depending on its type, location, and stage. Your multidisciplinary team at the Abramson Cancer Center will assess your needs and create a customized treatment plan for your cancer and your lifestyle. Sarcoma is almost always treated with surgery and sometimes chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Dr. Weber and his team at Abramson Cancer Center are among the best centers for diagnosing and treating soft tissue and bone cancers. The team comprises experts with years of experience treating sarcomas, including medical and radiation oncologists, orthopedic and surgical oncologists, plastic surgeons, musculoskeletal radiologists, pathologists, physical therapists, nutritionists, and social workers.

Overall, sarcoma care and surgery aim to remove tumors while maintaining as much functionality and quality of life as possible. Dr. Weber and his team treat every patient with this in mind.