sarcoma types

Types of Sarcoma

What Is Sarcoma?

Sarcoma is a type of cancer that begins in the connective tissue of the body.

This includes:

  • Muscle
  • Fat
  • Blood vessels
  • Nerves
  • Bones
  • Cartilage

It's different from other cancers, which are usually carcinomas that start in the tissue cells or organ lining.

Sarcomas are rare in adults, making up about 1 percent of cancers. But, they are more common in children, making up about 15 percent of cancers.

The cause of sarcoma is often unknown, but age and genetics seem to play a role in the disease. Previous radiation therapy also increases your risk.

Depending on the location and stage of the tumor, doctors often treat sarcoma with a combination of:

Types of Sarcoma

Sarcoma can start in any location in the body, and there are more than 50 distinct types depending on the tissue involved.

Common types of sarcoma include:

  • Bone/soft tissue sarcoma forms in soft tissues like blood vessels, muscle, or fat.
  • Osteosarcoma forms in bone.
  • Ewing sarcoma is a type of childhood cancer that forms in bone and soft tissues.
  • Soft tissue sarcoma begins in the muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or other supporting tissues of the body.
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma forms in the skin, mucus membranes, lymph nodes, skin, and other organs.
  • Leiomyosarcoma forms in the smooth muscle cells of the body.

For hard-to-treat cancers, UPMC CancerCenter offers Sarcoma Specialty Care.

This streamlined sarcoma care brings together experts in:

  • Medical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Pathology

We also offer risk reduction education and early detection services for many types of cancers.

Even if you've received sarcoma screening or care at another center, UPMC CancerCenter has treatment options for you.

Contact Us About Sarcoma Care

If you would like to learn more about sarcoma cancer care at UPMC CancerCenter, please call us at 412-647-2811.

Or, complete a sarcoma appointment request form.