Sarcoma Awareness Month is observed annually every July. If you are wondering what sarcoma is, it is a type of cancer that occurs in various locations of the body. ‘Sarcoma’ is the general term used to refer to a broad group of cancers that begin in the soft tissues and bones. Soft tissue sarcoma forms in the tissues that connect, support, and surround other body structures, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, tendons, and the lining of your joints. There is not only one type of sarcoma but actually more than 70 types. Sarcoma treatment varies depending on the type of sarcoma, location, and other factors.
History of Sarcoma Awareness Month
Sarcoma Awareness Month is held each year during July, and strives to raise awareness about what is considered to be the “forgotten cancer.” The truth is that little is known about sarcomas and efforts to encourage research and drug development are made more challenging due to a lack of awareness and understanding.
Unfortunately, it is not fully understood why some people develop sarcomas while the majority do not. However, researchers have been able to single out some indicators that may play a key role in causing sarcomas by identifying common characteristics in groups with unusually high occurrence rates. Although the causes of sarcomas are unknown, some known risk factors must be taken into account. One of the risk factors is exposure to phenoxyacetic acid in herbicides or chlorophenols in wood preservatives. An unusual percentage of patients with a rare blood vessel tumor have been exposed to vinyl chloride in their work. This substance is used in the manufacture of certain plastics. Another cause of sarcoma is high doses of radiation.
Scientists have focused on genetic alterations that may lead to the development of sarcomas. They have also found that there are a small number of families where more than one member in the same generation has developed a sarcoma. These cases of sarcomas within the same family may be related to a rare inherited genetic alteration. However, sarcomas are a completely random event in a family’s cancer history in the vast majority of cases.
Sarcoma Awareness Month timeline
During the middle of the 19th century and after the development of cellular pathology, sarcomas are separated from carcinomas based on their tissues of origin.
The discovery of the Rous sarcoma virus is reported by Peyton Rous in the ‘Journal of Experimental Medicine.’
Rous makes his discovery at the Rockefeller Institute — it earns him a Nobel Prize.
In November, a group of advocates come together in Seattle to gather all the sarcoma non-profits under a single united effort.
Sarcoma Awareness Month FAQs
What color ribbon is for sarcoma cancer?
A yellow ribbon represents sarcoma or bone cancer.
How long can you live with sarcoma?
Scientists believe that a person with soft tissue sarcoma can survive for five years.
Is sarcoma caused by smoking?
Injury and lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, and exercise are not linked as potential causes.
How to Observe Sarcoma Awareness Month
Follow a sarcoma foundation on social media
This is a perfect day to read the posts of foundations on social media. The main idea is to spread awareness about sarcoma.
Donate to any sarcoma foundation
A good way to celebrate this day is by donating to help a sarcoma foundation raise funds for vital research. As sarcoma is also known as forgotten cancer, it may be difficult for foundations to raise funds.
Share your story on social media
You can share your story or a post raising awareness about sarcoma on social media tagging @CureSarcoma and using the hashtag #SarcomaAwarenessMonth. This hashtag will help raise awareness about this strange type of cancer.
5 Important Facts About Sarcomas
Sarcomas are rare
Sarcomas are rare in adults — approximately 1% of all adult cancer diagnoses are sarcomas.
Sarcoma can develop in any part of the body
The most common areas of sarcoma tumors are the legs, hands, arms, head, neck, chest, shoulders, abdomen, and hips.
The cause is unknown
While there are a number of risk factors, the actual cause of sarcomas is unknown.
They’re difficult to detect and diagnose
Sarcomas are difficult to detect and are often misdiagnosed because they are so rare and can take multiple forms in multiple locations.
Get a second opinion
With sarcomas, it is important to seek the best possible care to improve your chance of survival — always get a second opinion.
Why Sarcoma Awareness Month is Important
It’s an opportunity to raise funds
As mentioned, one of the most important aims is to raise funds. This is because the main purpose of these foundations is to raise awareness about this forgotten disease.
It is an opportunity to raise awareness
Some people don’t know that sarcoma is a type of cancer and others may not even know it exists. So during July, many awareness meetings and events are held to share information about this disease.
It encourages check-ups
Visit your doctor for a check-up. This is the perfect month to do so.
Sarcoma Awareness Month dates