Talking about cancer being forgotten can see odd at first glance. Nearly everyone knows someone affected by the disease, and the pink ribbon pf Breast Cancer Month is one of the most recognized symbols in the country. But while many cancers are recognized and understood, with campaigns, research and awareness programs dedicated to helping suffers, there is a cancer that remains overlooked. Affecting an unusually young group for cancer, Sarcoma is a rare but serious form of cancer that affects body tissues such as muscles, blood vessels, nerve and more.
How Sarcoma affects the body
A deadly cancer, Sarcoma attacks the connective tissue within the body, including major groups like muscles and nerves, but also bones and cartilage, as well as the deepest layers of the skin. The cancer alters cell growth factor-signaling to cause rapid tumor growth, and it is thought that drugs that can affect growth-factor receptors, bringing them into balance, could be a way to control the cancer.
However, because Sarcoma is an under-researched cancer, these ideas have not been fully explored, to the detriment of all cancer sufferers. The key challenges faced in combatting Sarcoma may unlock new approached in dealing with other cancers, bringing in an entirely new path to finding solutions for all cancer sufferers. This is why raising awareness of Sarcoma is so important.
Around 15,000 new cases of Sarcoma are discovered each year in the United States, so it remains a rare disease. However, with the median age of bone Sarcoma patients just 36 years old, this is a cancer that affects a younger demographic than most.
A particularly deadly form of cancer, patients who are diagnosed before metastasis have a five-year survival rate of 65%, but if identified after metastasis, that drops to just 30%. Compared to many cancers, that is a devastating level.
It is clear then that while rare, this cancer is one that needs attention. Not just for the 15,000 patients a year affected, but because finding treatment for Sarcoma may open the door to new treatments for cancer patients everywhere. By promoting awareness of the cancer and the potential of research into this disease, we can advance the fight against all cancer and help millions of sufferers around the world.