Published: Sept. 2, 2011
Updated: Sept. 2, 2011
There are more than 50 types of sarcoma, and tumors can occur in any part of the body, although half of them develop in the arms and legs.
Bone sarcomas are malignant tumors that form in the bones, destroy normal bone tissue, and can spread to other areas of the body. Bones can also develop benign (non-cancerous) tumors. Benign bone tumors can destroy bone and spread into surrounding tissue but usually do not spread to other parts of the body.
Soft tissue sarcomas forms in tissues that weave throughout the body, such as muscles, nerves, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the tissue around joints.
Angiosarcomas form in the cells that line blood or lymph vessels (endothelial cells). Types of angiosarcomas include hemangiosarcomas, which are tumors of the blood vessels that form especially in the arms, legs, or trunk, and lymphangiosarcomas, which develop from the lymph nodes.
Chondrosarcoma are malignant tumors that begin in cartilage. They typically occur in patients between age 50 and 80, and commonly occur in the pelvis or femur.
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a malignant tumor that grows beneath the skin, usually in the arms and legs or trunk.
Ewing sarcoma is a small round blue cell tumor that typically occurs in the bones of patients less than 20 years old. There are variants that occur in the soft tissues (primitive neuroectodermal tumor, or PNET).
Fibromatosis (or desmoid tumors) is the name for a group of benign slow-growing tumors in the fibrous tissue. These tumors rarely spread.
Fibrosarcoma is a more cancerous tumor of the fibrous tissue and most commonly grows in the legs, arms, or trunk.
A gastrointestinal stromal tumor is a type of sarcoma that develops in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, which can include the esophagus, stomach, rectum, or small intestine.
Hemangioendothelioma is a slow-growing cancer that forms in blood vessels. It may start in organs such as the liver and the lungs.
Hemangiopericytoma is found around blood vessels. It can be either malignant or benign. It most often occurs in the legs, pelvis, and the back of the abdominal cavity.
Kaposi sarcoma is a cancerous tumor found in blood vessel walls. It occurs most often in people with suppressed immune systems, including people with HIV and those who have taken immunosuppressive drugs because of an organ transplant.
Leiomyosarcomas are malignant tumors of smooth muscle found in the uterus, gastrointestinal tract, or the blood vessels.
Liposarcomas develop from a fat cell precursor and can occur in any part of the body; they are usually found in the thigh or behind the abdomen.
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma, also known as undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, occurs most commonly in the legs and is the most common soft tissue sarcoma.
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, neurofibrosarcomas, malignant schwannomas, and neurogenic sarcomas are malignant tumors of cells that surround a nerve.
Osteosarcomas are the most common sarcoma of bone. They occur most commonly around the knee of teenage patients. Treatment for most osteosarcomas involves chemotherapy and resection of the tumor. This often requires a skeletal reconstruction.
Rhabdomyosarcomas are malignant tumors of skeletal muscle that occur in children.
Synovial sarcoma is a malignant soft tissue tumor that most often occurs in children and young adults but can also be found in older adults. They can occur anywhere in the body, but most commonly occur in the extremities.
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