Understanding Pediatric Sarcomas
Sarcomas are a relatively uncommon type of cancer (malignant tumor) that can develop in children, adolescents and young adults. While there are many different kinds of this cancer, together all pediatric sarcomas account for less than 15 percent of childhood cancers. Many of these tumors are considered high grade: they are malignant (cancerous); can metastasize (spread) rapidly; and can recur after treatment. The aggressive nature of most types of sarcomas makes accurate diagnosis and expert treatment particularly important.
Choosing a children's hospital that can offer the complete range of diagnostic and treatment resources is the best first step toward effective treatment for each sarcoma patient. Despite the small number of children who develop these cancers, the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital has a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts in place to provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for all types of sarcomas in babies, children and adolescents. We also care for young adults who have types of sarcoma that typically occur in children. Our team includes nationally recognized experts in pediatric oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, orthopaedic oncology and other surgical specialties.
Sarcomas can occur nearly anywhere in the body where there is bone, muscle or connective tissue that surrounds bone and muscle. 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. Soft-tissue sarcomas can occur in any soft tissue, anywhere in the body. Within these two umbrella categories, there are many different types of sarcomas that can develop in children.