Sarcoma Awareness 2019

04/07/2019

Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.  There are about 100 different subtypes of sarcoma that fall into three main types; soft tissue, primary bone and gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST- a soft tissue sarcoma found in the stomach and intestines). They can affect almost any part of the body, inside or outside.  Sarcoma UK have found that 75% of people don’t know or are not sure what sarcoma actually is, so this year Sarcoma Awareness Week is running from the Monday 1 – Sunday 7 July with the aim of changing that.

In the UK there are about 15 people diagnosed each day with Sarcoma and in Northern Ireland we see around 70 people diagnosed each year (figures from Sarcoma UK). The Sarcoma team in the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust provides a service for the diagnosis and surgical treatment of soft-tissue sarcomas and other suspicious lumps. This forms part of a wider regional Sarcoma service, working alongside colleagues in the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust to provide a comprehensive service from assessment and diagnosis to treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up. The earlier sarcoma is diagnosed the better the chances are for successful treatment.

Sarcomas are usually found by the patient when a lump appears on the arm, leg or trunk. A key symptom of sarcoma is a lump that is increasing in size. If you notice something please book an appointment to see your GP. For more information visit: https://sarcoma.org.uk/ or https://theboomfoundation.co.uk/ or drop by the awareness stand in the Ulster Hospital foyer during Sarcoma Awareness Week.

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