July is International Sarcoma Awareness month, and as such we recently did a post about the most common Childhood Cancer Sarcomas (there is in excess of 50 types of sarcomas).
In response to a reader who queried why nothing was mentioned about Undifferentiated Sarcoma, however, I promised to do some research and a post about it.
Undifferentiated sarcoma is a soft-tissue sarcoma, and is a very rare childhood cancer. Soft tissue sarcomas start in blood vessels, fat, fibrous tissue, muscles, nerves, or other supportive tissues of the body.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of undifferentiated sarcoma vary according to in which area of the body it appears. The first signs may be swelling or pain in that area. As the tumour gets bigger, it may start to exert pressure on surrounding organs and cause swelling, pain, or blockage.
If other organs are constricted, they may work less effectively. If a sarcoma occurs in the abdomen, for instance, it may press down on the intestines, which can lead to constipation.
Diagnosis of Undifferentiated Sarcoma
Undifferentiated sarcomas are generally diagnosed via a biopsy (a surgical procedure done under general anesthesia, wherein a sample of the suspicious tissue is removed and studied).
Once diagnosed, additional tests may be done to ascertain whether the cancer has spread. These tests may include:
- X-rays of all the bones
- CT scan
- Radioisotope Scan
- Bone Marrow Aspirate