What Is Sarcoma?

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 5, 2023
what is sarcoma

What are childhood sarcomas?

A sarcoma is a tumor that grows in the bone or soft tissue (muscles, nerves and fat) anywhere in the body. Sarcomas are rare, especially in young children, accounting for less than 15% of childhood cancers.

Pediatric sarcomas are classified into two major categories: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.

Bone sarcomas can appear in any bone, but are most often seen in the leg, arm, pelvis or rib. The most common bone sarcomas are Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma.

Soft-tissue sarcomas can occur in any soft tissue, anywhere in the body. The most common soft-tissue sarcomas are embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

Within these two umbrella categories, there are many different types of sarcomas that can develop in children.

Sarcomas can start off being tiny lumps that you can’t feel. They can spread through the body, or metastasize, before they grow big enough to be seen.

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