What Are the Different Types of Sarcoma Tumors?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2018
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Different types of sarcoma tumors are named for the area of soft tissue where they appear. These malignant cancers might affect muscle, blood vessels, tendons, or nerves throughout the body. Sarcoma tumors might begin as benign fibroids or masses and develop into cancer in any part of the body. Treatment commonly includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Angiosarcomas typically begin in blood vessel linings and are considered an aggressive form of sarcoma tumor. Although they can appear anywhere in the body, these tumors more commonly develop in the lungs, heart, breast, liver, and spleen. Angiosarcomas are linked to the contrast solution used in radiation therapy and might occur more often in women who have undergone mastectomy.

The development of these sarcoma tumors might also be connected to an arsenic-based pesticide used in the grape production industry and chemicals used to manufacture plastics. Foreign objects in the body might also lead to the development of this type of cancer. It has been diagnosed in people with shrapnel shards and surgically implanted plastic devices.

Synovialsarcoma affects tendons that connect bone to muscle and is most commonly found in the thigh bone where it meets the knee. Sacs might develop between tendons, bones, and ligaments, which are filled with fluid. These sarcoma tumors appear more commonly in teens and young adults in the arms and legs. The cancer might spread to lymph nodes and other areas of the body.


Cancers of the tendon represent a fairly rare form of sarcoma tumors that produce symptoms like those in arthritis or bursitis. Surgeons commonly attempt to save the limb by removing malignancy if it has not spread beyond the extremity. Researchers believe there may be a genetic component that determines the risk for this disease.

Osteosarcoma, also called osteogenic disease, refers to cancer of the bone, a disease that might be resistant to radiation therapy. About half of these sarcoma tumors occur near the knee joint. The cure rate is favorable when the tumor develops in flat bones, found in the facial area, where the entire bone is removed. In other parts of the body, a greater risk of spreading and death exists because this cancer sometimes travels to the lung.

Fibrosarcoma is the most common cancer seen in children under the age of one. It occurs at the ends of leg and arm bones in the soft connective tissue. Fibrosarcoma can also develop in older children and adults, and is considered a fast-growing cancer. Some patients limp if the tumor is in the leg, where a sore lump might be present.

Chrondrosarcoma infects the cells of cartilage, with two types identified. Primary chrondrosarcoma affects the bones of children, while secondary chrondrosarcoma typically appears after the age of 40. Defects in cartilage that are benign typically develop into malignancy when the disease strikes adults.



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