Creating awareness about Sarcoma, a rare kind of cancer, experts at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre (RGCIRC) pointed to the challenge of its incorrect diagnosis and the impact of wrong procedures on the treatment outcome. Sarcoma is a cancer of Bone & Soft tissues. July is celebrated as Sarcoma awareness month worldwide.
“Unfortunately the sarcoma tumor goes undiagnosed in limbs or an inappropriate surgery is done. In such cases, this leads to damage and a major risk of losing the limb, which affects the lives of young children/adults. RGCIRC has been making general orthopedic surgeons aware about right ways to evaluate Sarcoma, its diagnosis, and the treatment options available”, said Dr. Himanshu Rohela, Consultant – Orthopaedic Oncology RGCI&RC.
Though sarcoma accounts for 3% of all cancers in adults and 10-15% in the pediatric age group, the disease needs attention that it deserves to save life as well as limbs.
In a high volume Sarcoma centre such as RGCIRC, a large number of cases are being reported late which leads to less than desired outcomes including risk of losing limb in young children, added Dr Rohela.
Sarcoma happens in young age and at that age there are no major risk factors like chewing tobacco or poor lifestyle. So initially when it happens, most parents are naturally in shock. In NCR, a major issue is that not many hospitals have Sarcoma management teams.
Talking about prevention, Dr. Rohela says, prevention doesn’t play a role here, as there is no risk factor, what’s important is early diagnosis. One should not ignore the persistent pain or increasing swelling in limbs, which is not responding to conservative treatment.
It’s not that every tumor/ lump is cancerous, it could be an infection or a benign tumor. Sarcoma is a rare condition to have. Emphasis should be on not ignoring increasing swelling or pain in limbs especially in young adults, as it could be Sarcoma, added Dr Rohela.