Be aware of the rare cancer called sarcoma

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Editor's note: July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. Consider sharing this article to raise 
awareness of this group of more than 70 different types of cancer.

By Jennifer O'Hara

A sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that begins in the bones and in the softer connective tissues in the body. Sarcomas that begin in the bones are called "bone cancer," and sarcomas that form in the tissues, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, tendons, and the lining of joints, are called "soft tissue sarcoma."

"These are rare cancers, and in adults, sarcomas comprise less than 1% of new cancers diagnosed every year," says Brittany Siontis, M.D., a Mayo Clinic medical oncologist. "So most people never hear about sarcoma."

Because this form of cancer is rare, it is important to seek care at a center that sees a high volume of sarcoma patients.

"When we're dealing with something that is so rare, it's really important to have a team of folks who are comfortable with these cancers, familiar with how these cancers behave and know the data to help make the best treatment plan for each patient," says Dr. Siontis.

Watch this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast video to hear Dr. Siontis discuss the various forms of sarcoma, treatment options, and research underway on new ways to treat this group of cancers:


For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Learn more

Learn more about sarcoma and find a sarcoma clinical trial at Mayo Clinic.

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A version of this article was originally published on the Mayo Clinic News Network.