Sarcomas are cancers that form in soft tissue anywhere in the body. This includes cartilage, muscles, tendons and fat that connects and supports structures throughout the body. Soft tissue sarcomas are rare and challenging to diagnose. But Memorial Cancer Institute offers comprehensive care that puts you on the path toward renewed wellness.
Our team has uncommon sarcoma expertise in South Florida and maintains exceptional outcomes. From diagnosis to treatment and recovery, we have all the services you need close to home.
Diagnosing Soft Tissue Cancer
Sarcoma is difficult to diagnose in part because symptoms may be subtle and similar to many other conditions. Your assessment starts with a physical exam and imaging studies. Our radiologists regularly see sarcoma scans, including CT scans and MRIs, so you can count on us for an accurate interpretation.
If imaging uncovers a suspicious growth, we may take a tissue sample (biopsy). Knowledgeable pathologists examine it under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cancer’s severity. We also perform genetic testing to learn more about cell mutations within the tumor.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatments and Support
The main treatment for sarcoma is surgery to remove it. If the sarcoma involves a large section of tissue, you undergo reconstruction in the same procedure. For advanced sarcomas, your care may include chemotherapy or radiation before or after surgery. If you are too sick for surgery or the cancer returns after treatment, these therapies can help you stay comfortable.
After treatment, cancer rehabilitation helps get you back on your feet. A team of oncology-trained rehabilitation specialists, including physicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists, works together to optimize your recovery.
Treatment for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs)
GISTs are sarcomas that often start in the stomach or small intestine. But they can affect any digestive tract organ. Tumors covering a large area or affecting multiple organs can be challenging to remove.
At Memorial Cancer Institute, our team includes surgeons offering a broad range of procedures to treat this tumor type. We use the option that’s most appropriate for your needs and maintain exceptional outcomes. Your care may also include targeted therapy. This option uses drugs and other substances to target proteins enabling cancer cell growth.
Supportive Therapies and Services for Sarcoma
We don’t let lingering sarcoma symptoms like pain or treatment side effects slow your recovery. Cancer support services, such as nutrition counseling, spiritual care and help from social workers, are available. Patient navigators (oncology nurses) are with you throughout treatment and help you access the support you need.
Sarcoma Care: Why Choose Memorial Cancer Institute?
We are one of the few programs in the region capable of treating sarcomas. You benefit from highly skilled specialists, many of whom have advanced training and decades of experience. We use leading care methods, giving you the best chances for healing.
Highlights of our program include:
- Team approach: Our multidisciplinary expertise means you’re in caring and capable hands. The team includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists. We work together to deliver complete care, including an accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapies.
- Surgical excellence: Trusted cancer surgeons remove sarcomas with a high degree of precision. For early-stage disease, surgery may be the only treatment you need. Even if the cancer is large or has spread to other areas, we can still help you.
- Nonsurgical treatments: Our medical oncology specialists excel in sarcoma care. They use the latest medical treatments, which may include targeted therapy. We also offer nationally recognized radiation oncology services. And cancer rehabilitation can help you cope with physical changes that treatment may bring.
- Cancer genetics: If you have a family history of sarcoma, you may face a higher risk. The same is true if you have a hereditary syndrome that raises the likelihood of cancer. Our cancer genetics program accurately assesses your risks, leading to early detection and timely treatment. When you’re diagnosed with sarcoma, we check for mutations that respond to specific therapies.
- Holistic care: Our focus on your whole health includes services that ease your mind and body. You may benefit from integrative medicine services such as acupuncture, massage, mindfulness and nutrition counseling.