What is sarcoma?
Hello I’m Grace Gawler.
I help patients navigate the complex cancer maze and I’ve had a lot of experience with sarcomas over the last 4 decades.
Sarcoma cases constitute about 15 percent of all cancers in children, but are much rarer in adults and make up only about one percent of adult cancer cases.
- Soft tissue sarcomas form in cartilage, fat, muscle, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, and other connective or supportive tissues of the body.
- Sarcomas can be of gynaecological origin
- Osteosarcomas develop in bone;
- Liposarcomas form in fat;
- Rhabdomyosarcomas form in muscle
- Ewing sarcomas form in bone and soft tissue.
- Nerve sheath sarcomas arise in the nerve sheaths of the body.
Sarcomas can be difficult to distinguish from other malignancies when they are found within organs; thus, their incidence is probably underestimated.
If you have been directed to this page – you likely know what type of sarcoma you are managing.
The purpose of this page is to invite you to consider the role of Personalised or Precision medicine when it comes to managing and treating your sarcoma.
My 42 years’ experience tells me that Sarcomas are notoriously “tricky” tumours and therefore are often misdiagnosed. Before now we have not had the diagnostic capability to go to deeper levels of diagnosis of Sarcomas.
Specific genomic testing targeted at sarcoma diagnosis is now available in Australia. We can assist you to connect with the only test used clinically in Australia for diagnosis and screening for sarcomas. As well tissue from other countries can be sent to Australia for testing.
Most of us have heard of genetics and how diseases can be inherited through genes passed down through our families. We know that genes work in groups and their activity is influenced by a huge variety of environmental and other factors.
We also now know that the DNA between your genes is also very important. Every healthy cell in your body has a complete set of genes. One set of all these genes (plus the DNA between the genes) is called a genome. Genomics is the study of the whole genome, what it’s made up of and how it works.
Sarcoma has an initial allocation of 500 genomes. Genomic testing can discover the nature your particular brand of sarcoma – and predict how well you will respond to a treatment or find one that will work best for you.
- Genomic testing can also be used to test how well a cancer might respond to chemotherapy, radiotherapy or other treatment agents which translates to you the patient as Targeted treatment – rather than trial and error. The testing can identify molecular markers as well as specific genes, regions and pathways associated with tumour growth and progression in multiple sites, as well as tumour response and resistance to treatment