Sarcoma

There are approximately 12,000 cases of soft tissue sarcoma and 3,000 cases of bone sarcomas that occur in the United States each year.

Any diagnosis that includes the word cancer is scary and can be emotionally draining.  You may immediately be overwhelmed with questions – what is your prognosis, what is the best treatment, where should you go for treatment, how long will treatment last and on and on.

If you are diagnosed with a rare cancer like a sarcoma, getting the right treatment from the right doctor who is experienced at treating your type of cancer is even more important.

A sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the connective tissues of the body. These are cells that connect or support other types of tissue in the body such as muscles, tendons, cartilage, bones, nerves, fat and blood vessels. 

There are two primary types of sarcomas, those that form in the soft tissue and those that grow in the bone. There are approximately 12,000 cases of soft tissue sarcoma and 3,000 cases of bone sarcomas that occur in the United States each year. The first sign of a soft tissue sarcoma is often a painless lump. As it grows, however, it may start to cause discomfort as is presses against nerves or muscles. It is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Sarcomas that are caught early and have not spread, have an 80 percent or more survival rate.

Nebraska Medicine has a team of doctors who are experienced at treating sarcomas. You will have some of the best and brightest in the region review your diagnosis, collaborate on your treatments and help you navigate through the protocols you will need to fight it to ensure the best outcome.

 

WHY COME TO NEBRASKA MEDICINE FOR SARCOMA TREATMENT:

Expertise from Multiple Doctors

Treatment for sarcomas are discussed in a biweekly tumor board meeting where a multitude of cancer specialists collaborate to develop the best treatment plan based on your individualized case. 

You're Seen by the Field's Leading Experts

Because sarcomas are not very common, it’s important to see a specialist who is experienced at treating these types of cancers. Treatment for your sarcoma depends on many factors including, the type of sarcoma you have, where it is located, how locally advanced it is, and whether or not it has spread to other parts of your body. We have a team of cancer doctors with expertise in treating soft tissue and bone sarcomas. This team may include an orthopaedicsurgical oncologist, surgical oncologist, thoracic oncology surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, pathologists and physiatrist. We have the only orthopaedic oncologist in Nebraska who specializes in cancerous and non-cancerous tumors of the bone and soft tissue in children and adults. He treats bone cancers that have originated in the bones as well as cancers that have originated from other sites and have spread to the bones. More experience translates into the right diagnosis, the right treatment and better outcomes.

We're with You Every Step of the Way

Treatment for sarcomas can be complex. Patients undergoing cancer treatment at Nebraska Medicine can be treated at our new Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, a center dedicated to caring for the needs of cancer patients.

You will also have access to our 24/7 Infusion Center at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, which serves as both a treatment center and 24/7 urgent-care-type facility--rare offering in the region. Your team will not only focus on eliminating your cancer, but empower you to thrive while undergoing treatment and making changes to your everyday life.

Getting the Most Accurate and Precise Diagnosis

Sarcomas are rare. So rare, that many hospitals do not have the experience or testing tools to appropriately diagnosis this cancer. Nebraska Medicine has two pathologists who have received specialty training in diagnosing bone and soft tissue sarcomas. One of these is a world renown pathologist who helped write text books that other doctors use to diagnosis these tumors.

Once a sarcoma sample is evaluated by microscope, it should also undergo several other forms of advanced testing to arrive at the most precise diagnosis. Nebraska Medicine’s Pathology Lab is the only lab in the area that has advanced testing tools like fluorescence in situ hybridization, cytogenetics and other molecular tests. In fact, our pathologists review sarcoma tissue samples from other hospitals throughout the area. Providing your doctors with the most accurate diagnosis will help them develop the most accurate and aggressive treatment plan to help you win the battle against cancer.

recise diagnosis

Sarcomas are rare. So rare, that many hospitals do not have the experience or testing tools to appropriately diagnosis this cancer. Nebraska Medicine has two pathologists who have received specialty training in diagnosing bone and soft tissue sarcomas. One of these is a world renown pathologist who helped write text books that other doctors use to make the diagnosis of these tumors.

Once a sarcoma sample is evaluated by microscope, it should also undergo several other forms of advanced testing to arrive at the most precise diagnosis. Nebraska Medicine’s Pathology Lab is the only lab in the area that has advanced testing tools like fluorescence in situ hybridization, cytogenetics and other molecular tests. In fact, our pathologists review sarcoma tissue samples from other hospitals throughout the area. Providing your doctors with the most accurate diagnosis will help them develop the most accurate and aggressive treatment plan to help you win the battle against cancer.

Genetic Testing

If you have a family history of sarcomas or your family has a history of developing cancers at a young age, you may want to consider genetic testing. Certain family cancer syndromes caused by gene defects increases a person’s risk of developing soft tissue syndromes. These include neurofibromatosis, Gardner syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, retinoblastoma, Werner syndrome, Gorlin syndrome and tuberous sclerosis. Nebraska Medicine’s genetic counselors will walk you through the process and help you determine if genetic testing is for you. If you decide to move forward, our genetic counselors will be with you throughout the entire process and will provide counseling before and after to ensure you understand the results and repercussions of being tested.

Clinical Trials

Many of our specialists are very involved in research to find new treatments and cures for sarcomas. This affords our doctors the opportunity to take part in some of the most current clinical trials, giving you early access to the newest drugs and most cutting-edge treatment options before they become widely available. See what clinical trials are available for sarcomas.

Addressing Your Personal Care Needs

Addressing a patient’s physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs are important aspects of providing a more complete and holistic approach to care. A host of amenities and supportive services are available to help meet these needs. This includes personal care services such as wigs, wig fittings, prosthetic and bra fittings, yoga, massage therapy, skin care and make-up lessons specifically geared for people with or recovering from cancer are also provided in a private setting.

Cancer Support Services

Finding out that you have cancer can be a very emotional and difficult time. You will likely have many questions and issues to work through. We will be with you every step of the way. Nebraska Medicine offers a host of cancer support services to help you with your physical, emotional, educational and financial needs including financial counselors, social workers and mental health care professionals.

We're Here for you Long After Your Treatment

Our Survivorship Clinic is designed to help you deal with the emotional and physical challenges cancer can leave behind such as fear of recurrence, physical and medical long-term side effects and helping you return to a normal life again. It will also help you transition back into the care of your primary care physician.