Soft tissue sarcoma is the generic denomination of more than fifty types of cancer that affect the so-called connective tissue, which is what serves as a separation between the different tissues of the body and to separate the different organs from each other. It is found in all soft parts of the body – blood vessels, muscle tissue, nerves, tendons, the deepest part of the skin, etc. – except in the bones and cartilage of the joints.
The differences between all these types of sarcomas lies in the type of cells that are affected, although they can appear anywhere in the body. However, despite the differences in location and cell type, the behavior of all of them, with a few exceptions, is very similar, so they share the diagnostic techniques and criteria, in addition to the treatment.
Soft tissue sarcomas represent approximately 1% of all cancers and cause 2% of deaths from this cause. They are a little more frequent in men than in women and, although they can develop at any age, they occur more frequently in the age group of 40 to 60 years.
Again we must talk about exceptions in relation to risk factors, since the few that are known affect very isolated types of cases. Among them, the fact that he received a radiotherapy treatment years ago or his association with certain rare diseases stands out.
The most obvious sign of the existence of this type of sarcomas is the appearance of a lump in any soft part of the organism that is characterized by growing rapidly and usually without causing pain, at least initially, since its growth can subsequently press Nerves muscles the nearest organs. The asymptomatic growth becomes more specific when the sarcoma is located in the abdominal cavity, which allows it to acquire a considerable size. These growth characteristics are important at the time of diagnosis, since these tumors must be distinguished from others that are benign. For this, criteria of size (more than 5 centimeters), location (deep) and speed of growth are followed.
The most important part of treatment in localized soft tissue sarcomas is surgery to remove the tumor, which is currently supplemented with postoperative radiotherapy and, in some cases, with reconstructive plastic surgery when the surgery is necessarily radical and Therefore, it is mutilating.
The treatment is completed with chemotherapy, although the effects of it are not noticeable. It can also be applied before surgery with radiation therapy. It should be noted that most soft tissue sarcomas are treated the same way. Only a few types require specific treatment.