Sarcoma Cancer Diagnosis

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Sarcoma cancer diagnosis is usually difficult in its early(stages). Sarcoma cancer develops in the soft tissues in the body like fat, muscle, arms etc. It therefore easily pushes through the soft tissues and keeps growing while also damaging other healthy tissues in the process. It almost goes unnoticed until it shows some obvious signs like pain and unusual swelling. A person cannot be sure about what is it that is happening, so it becomes essential to go visit a doctor. The doctor on his part may inquire the patient about any past illness or family problems as well as suggest some tests to come out with the reason behind such pain and swelling. The early the detection the better it is, as the sarcoma cancer might be a benign tumor (harmless) or it might as well turn out to be a malignant one which is an advanced tumor and can be fatal. And then the treatment would also vary from person to person depending upon age, size of the tumor, stage that it has reached, if it has spread to other body parts etc. So, an early appointment with the doctor would make things to become clear and subsequently an early treatment can start.

The doctor may take the following steps in order to determine the cause of the pain or swelling that has been bugging the patient. These are as below:

  • Test: The first thing the doctor is likely to do is ask the person to undergo few physical tests like blood test etc.

  • Medical History: The doctor may inquire the patient about any possible heredity disorder running in the patient's family or any past illness that the patient has had.

  • X-Ray: A chest X-ray can be suggested to check if the sarcoma cancer has spread to the lung area.

  • Biopsy: In the biopsy test a sample from the tissue is taken and examined under a microscope. This is the only way to be certain that the tumor is a sarcoma and not any other cancer and whether a benign or malignant tumor. Doctors may go for surgical biopsy or needle biopsy which is again categorized as (i) core needle (ii) fine needle aspiration biopsy. The kind of biopsy to be used depends on the location of the tumor in the patient's body in order to arrive at a certainty regarding what type of tumor it is.

    • Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy: The doctor uses a very thin needle to take a small sample from the cell that is the suspect. This sample is then sent to the laboratory to be tested under a microscope. FNA biopsy is used when the tumor is deep in the body. A CT scan helps view the location of the tumor and accordingly the needle is aimed at it.

    • Core Needle Aspiration Biopsy: In this type of biopsy, the needle used is larger in size than that of FNAB. It can remove samples of tissues in the size of about 1/16 inches across and inches long.

  • Surgical Biopsy: In surgical biopsy, a part or the entire tumor is removed by operation. Anesthesia is administered to the patient while doing this. Incisional biopsy is the name of the biopsy done to remove only part of the tumor while excisional biopsy is what an entire removal of the tumor is called. This sample is then checked under a microscope to see if there is any presence of cancer, if yes then whether it is benign or malignant.

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is usually done before a biopsy to check if the tumor is a benign or a malignant one. This test enables the doctor to study the area that is affected and accordingly, plan further steps.

  • CT scan: Computer Tomography scan gives a detailed image of the areas affected. It captures multiple images which helps the physician to study the affected body part better. It is usually done if the tumor is suspected to be growing in the areas like, abdomen, chest etc
Sarcoma cancer diagnosis is better done at the earliest. However, the treatment depends on the factors like age, size of the tumor, and location of it etc.; still the foremost responsibility lies with the patient himself. That of not ignoring it and instead report it as early as it can be.

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