Coping with Sarcoma
A diagnosis of cancer can be very upsetting. It is important to be well-informed about your condition and the treatment options available. This enables you to make decisions and cope with your situation.
Sarcomas are rare cancers that may originate in the bone or soft tissues. They usually occur after the age of 50 though 10% of sarcomas occur in children. Sarcomas usually affect the lower extremity and is mainly treated by surgery. The limb is saved in a majority of cases but sometimes amputation is the choice of treatment. Chemotherapy or radiotherapy may also be recommended. After treatment, regular follow-up visits are necessary to assess recovery. The tumor may recur at the site requiring further surgery. It may sometimes spread to the lung or liver. Such cases usually have a poor prognosis and palliative treatment is recommended.
The management of sarcoma usually involves a team of specialists - physiotherapists, dieticians, counselors. Treatment may cause scarring and disfigurement. This can affect the way you feel about yourself. If you had a leg amputation, you may need special rehabilitation to help you use a prosthetic limb. Fatigue is commonly experienced during treatment and may be treated by mild exercise, proper sleep habits and changes in diet. Do not hesitate to seek assistance for any issues related to your condition. Social workers can help you seek financial assistance and treatment benefits as well as arrange home assistance. You can get advice on improving the home environment to allow you to function better. Talking to people about your condition can be difficult. Counseling organizations and support groups help family members communicate better and find strategies to deal with this condition.