Sarcoma refers to many different types of malignant tumors that develop in soft tissues and bones throughout the body. Robert Donoway, MD, FACS, at Atlas Oncology has extensive experience diagnosing the specific type of sarcoma and creating personalized care based on your cancer and overall health. Dr. Donoway is also an expert in the cutting-edge NanoKnife® procedure, which can effectively treat inoperable soft tissue sarcomas. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Hollywood, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Sarcoma is a general term referring to a very large group of rare cancers that develop in soft tissues, as well as bones:
These cancerous tumors may arise in any of your soft tissues, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, lymph vessels, and blood vessels.
More than 75 types of soft tissue sarcomas have been identified, and each one has unique characteristics. Two of the most common soft tissue sarcomas, leiomyosarcoma and liposarcoma, affect smooth muscles and fat tissue, respectively.
Bone cancer often develops when another type of cancer spreads from elsewhere in your body to your bones. Bone sarcomas are different because they originate in bones. Adults rarely develop bone sarcomas.
Soft tissue sarcomas don’t cause symptoms at first because they tend to push the surrounding soft tissues out of the way. As the sarcoma grows, the first symptom it causes is often a noticeable lump or swelling. When a soft tissue sarcoma gets large enough to press against surrounding organs, you may experience pain. By comparison, pain is the primary symptom of a bone sarcoma.
Surgery to remove a soft tissue sarcoma is often the first line of treatment. You may receive chemotherapy, depending on the type and stage of your sarcoma. Several types of medications are available that directly target the tumor. For example, medications may block proteins that make the cancer grow.
Dr. Donoway always personalizes each patient’s treatment based on their health, symptoms, and the severity of their cancer. But his customized care is even more important for soft tissue sarcomas because they’re such a diverse group of cancers.
Some soft tissue sarcomas are hard to remove surgically due to their location. If your sarcoma is inoperable, Dr. Donoway may recommend a NanoKnife procedure, which doesn’t even need an incision, because it’s performed using the NanoKnife’s long, narrow, needle-like electrodes.
While you’re under general anesthesia, Dr. Donoway inserts two or more electrodes along the outer edges of your tumor. When they’re precisely in place and activated, they create an electric field around the tumor. This field destroys the tumor cells, eliminating the sarcoma while preserving the surrounding tissues.
If you discover a lump or have questions about sarcomas, call Atlas Oncology or schedule an appointment online.