Donate to Sarcoma Research, Patient Care and Education

Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer of the connective tissues that hold the body together. Sarcoma attacks the muscles, tendons, blood vessels, fat, nerves, deep skin tissues, bones, and cartilage. About 14,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year, and sarcoma makes up about 15 percent of the cancer diagnoses in children under 20. With your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help specialists at Northwestern Medicine to continue to provide the very finest care to people diagnosed with sarcoma.

Sarcoma is divided into two main types: osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a malignant tumor of the bone. Unlike other cancers that spread to the bones, osteosarcoma begins in the cells that grow into new bone tissue, most often at the ends of the longer bones of the body, such as the legs or arms. In children and teenagers, osteosarcoma often develops near the knee. Ewing sarcoma is a particular type of cancer that affects mostly young adults and children: 200 new cases are diagnosed every year in adolescents and children compared to only 20 for adults.

Soft tissue cancer is a rare cancer occurring in any of the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, blood vessels, tendons, fat, and fibrous and synovial tissues. This cancer is found equally as frequently across all age groups in the United States. A plurality of cases occur in the leg, especially at or above the knee, but other possible locations of this cancer include the torso, the abdominal cavity and the area around the head or neck. Soft tissue sarcomas can additionally invade surrounding tissues and spread to other organs.

The first symptom of sarcoma is usually a painless lump. Patients begin to feel pain as the tumor grows and presses against nerves and muscles. Since soft tissues are elastic, some tumors may not be felt until their advanced stages. Other symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Blood in stool
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

The symptoms of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma symptoms vary greatly, depending on the size and location of the tumor, but they usually include

  • Bone pain,
  • Swelling or the appearance of a lump
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Unusual bone fracture

A direct cause of sarcoma is currently unknown. By donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to advance vital research at Northwestern Medicine that is aimed at unlocking the remaining mysteries of sarcoma. A higher risk of osteosarcoma generally seems present among males, during growth spurts in teens and young adults; among those who have undergone past cancer treatments; and among those having previous health conditions. An increased risk of soft tissue sarcoma is present among those who have been exposed to radiation therapies, have a damaged lymph system or have a family history of certain illnesses.

Treatments are planned in consultation with a team of Northwestern Medicine professionals, and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or biological therapies and supportive treatments. Moreover, certain patients may be eligible to participate in clinical trials, based on their physicians’ assessments and recommendations.

Sarcoma Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will play an important role in Northwestern Medicine’s continued excellence in the realm of sarcoma care and research. There is no question that your generosity touch many lives and will offer support and hope to many patients, and their loved ones, as they bravely battle sarcoma. goes towards ensuring proper treatment for all sarcoma patients.

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