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Sarcomas: A Rare Cancer Requiring Rare Expertise
Sarcomas are rare malignant tumors found in connective tissue such as fat, cartilage, muscle or bone. Sarcomas can occur anywhere in the body. Sarcomas are most often found in the arms, legs, trunk and abdomen.
With approximately 8,500 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States, sarcomas make up less than one percent of all cancers. Most doctors have little or no contact with patients who have sarcomas. This inexperience can lead to delays and errors in diagnosis, and inappropriate testing and surgery.
The multidisciplinary expert team at Sarcoma Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute have extensive experience treating patients with sarcoma. This means that patients with sarcomas have access to experienced specialists who can make prompt, accurate diagnoses and provide appropriate testing and surgery. New patient appointments are scheduled within one week of your initial telephone call.
Many of these experts focus exclusively on sarcoma and other benign tumors of the bone and soft tissue. They offer the latest techniques in radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, personalized for each patient's situation.
In addition to the care provided by the Program's multidisciplinary team of experts, complex situations are brought to the Sarcoma Tumor Board. At Tumor Board meetings, doctors from a variety of disciplines review and discuss individual cases and treatment options. The conclusions arrived at by the team of experts are communicated rapidly to both the referring physician and the patient.
The referring physician is an important member of the treatment team at the Sarcoma Program. The Program's team works with the referring physician to determine the best course of treatment and keeps the physician up to date on the patient's condition. At the appropriate time, the patient is transferred back to the referring physician for continued management, but the Sarcoma Program's physicians remain available for consultation.