A sarcoma is a cancer that arises from any cell that is derived from an undifferentiated connective tissue known as mesenchyme. This incudes cancers of bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels or any of the cells that created blood. Although sarcomas are rare (making up only 1% of all cancers), they make up the majority of cancers of the breast, large intestine and lungs.
Sarcomas are named by the type of tissue that gives rise to the cancer. For example, bone cancer is usually an osteosarcoma.
Sarcomas can usually be removed with surgery. In the past, it was often the practice to remove all of the tissues, which often resulted in amputation or mastectomy. However, in modern practice, the sarcoma can usually be excised with less damage to the surrounding tissue.
Sarcomas occur in all age groups and both sexes.