Its Sarcoma awareness week!
Sarcoma awareness week is back again and runs between 29th June to 5th July in the UK this year. We discuss how it may be encountered in orthopaedic practice.
What is sarcoma awareness week?
Much work has been done over the years by Sarcoma clinicians and charities like Sarcoma UK to raise awareness of Sarcoma in the UK.
Why is awareness important particularly with sarcoma?
Recent data from Sarcoma UK has shown that majority might ignore early symptoms and only 1 in 4 doctors might be able to diagnose these signs. There are around 5000 confirmed diagnoses each year recent data suggests.
What is a sarcoma?
Sarcoma being a very rare soft tissue or bone cancer forms only 1% of all tumours. It’s rare and thus early referral and diagnosis is made to improve patient’s outcomes.
How can it present?
Symptoms may present as unexplained bone and joint pain, particularly after trivial injuries. Soft tissue and joint swellings are the commonest presenting symptom and sign.
Suspicious signs include any lump getting bigger and/or bigger than a golf ball (5cm), painful, recurrent lump, site of radiotherapy or history of cancer. Suspicious radiographic (X-ray) features may be a warning for bone sarcoma.
What should I do if I suspect do have a sarcoma?
If you or anyone you know has a lump or swelling of concern then see you doctor for advice. They may request further investigations such as a x-ray or ultrasound. If further clinical input is required they may refer you to an Orthopaedic surgeon at a Sarcoma specialist centre.
How can I play a part of sarcoma awareness week?
You can raise awareness by simply spreading the word or sharing this blog! Further information can also be found on the website of charity Sarcoma UK.