How Long Can You Have Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS) Without Knowing?
STS is a type of cancer that can occur anywhere in the body where there is soft tissue. This includes the muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, and deep skin tissue. STS is relatively rare, accounting for only about 1% of all cancers diagnosed yearly.
While the condition can develop in people of any age, it is most common in adults over 60. The average age at diagnosis is 63. Women are slightly more likely to develop the condition than men. There is no one cause of the condition.
However, certain risk factors have been identified that may increase your chances of developing soft tissue sarcoma. These include exposure to certain chemicals or radiation, prior history of cancer, and genetic disorders.
What is soft tissue sarcoma?
Although soft tissue sarcoma can occur anywhere in the body, they most commonly arise in the arms or legs. They can also develop in the abdomen, chest, pelvis, or head or neck area. These tumors are usually slow-growing and may not cause any symptoms for years.
When symptoms do appear, they can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor. For example, a tumor in the arm or leg may cause pain, swelling, or a change in the appearance of the affected limb. A tumor in the abdomen may cause abdominal pain or bloat.
Cancer in the chest may cause coughing or difficulty breathing. You must see your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis and accurate treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.
How long can you have soft tissue sarcoma without knowing?
It is not uncommon for people to be diagnosed after living with the condition for some time without knowing. In many cases, the first symptom of sarcoma is a lump or mass that is painless and does not cause any other symptoms. For this reason, it is often difficult to determine how long someone has had the condition without knowing.
How is soft tissue sarcoma diagnosed?
There are several ways that doctors can diagnose sarcoma. The most common method is to perform a biopsy, which involves taking a sample of the abnormal tissue and sending it to a laboratory for analysis.
Imaging tests, including X-rays, MRI, and CT scans, may also be used to help identify the tumor and determine its size and location. In some cases, doctors may also recommend surgery to remove cancer and confirm the diagnosis.
What are the treatment options for soft tissue sarcoma?
There are various treatment options, depending on the stage and location of the tumor. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these modalities.
Surgery is the most common treatment and is typically used to remove the tumor and surrounding tissue. Radiotherapy may be consistently used before or after surgery to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. Chemotherapy may also be used before or after surgery to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors.
What is the prognosis for soft tissue sarcoma?
The prognosis depends on a number of factors, including the type and stage of cancer, the location of the tumor, and the patient’s age and overall health. Treatment options also play a role in prognosis. The earlier the condition is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis.
For example, patients with localized tumors that can be entirely removed by surgery have a much better prognosis. Patients with certain types of sarcomas, such as leiomyosarcoma or desmoplastic small round cell tumors, tend to have a better prognosis.
Age and overall health are also essential factors in determining prognosis. Some patients may be cured by surgery alone, while others may require multiple chemotherapy or radiation therapy rounds.
Soft tissue-type sarcoma can often go undetected for years, so it’s essential to be aware of the current symptoms and risk factors. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor.