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July is Sarcoma Awareness Month

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month

We know that a pink ribbon is a sign of breast cancer awareness, but what about a yellow ribbon? If you guessed sarcoma awareness, you’d be right! In July, we wear yellow ribbons for Sarcoma Awareness Month to help focus attention on bone and soft tissue sarcomas.

In 2021, there were over 13,000 cases of soft tissue sarcoma and 3,600 cases of bone sarcoma estimated in the United States. The good news? Survival rates are high when sarcomas are detected early.

The Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center is here for you. Every July, we’re proud to join forces with cancer survivors and their families throughout NOLA to promote early detection and treatment of sarcoma cancers.

What is sarcoma?

Sarcomas are a group of cancerous tumors that develop in the body’s bones and connective tissues, including tendons, joints, muscles and others. As a result, sarcomas are often difficult to diagnose because they form inside organs or deeper in the body. Bone and joint sarcomas are more commonly diagnosed in young people. Soft tissue sarcomas are more common in those age 55 and older. Sarcoma subtypes include:

  • Soft tissue sarcomas form near joints, as well as in cartilage, fat, muscles, blood vessels, tendons and nerves.
  • Osteosarcomas form in the bones.
  • Ewing sarcomas form in bone and soft tissues.
  • Kaposi sarcomas form in the linings of lymph nodes or blood vessels.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma form in the muscles.
  • Synovial sarcomas form in muscles or ligaments and are often found in the limbs.

Don’t miss the signs of sarcoma

Symptoms are never one size fits all. Signs of sarcoma may include:

  • A new lump or growth anywhere on your body, especially one that changes in size or is painful.
  • Abdominal pain that worsens over time.
  • Blood in your stool or black, tarry stools.
  • Pain or swelling in a specific area that gets worse.

The symptoms of sarcomas are sometimes difficult to notice. You might not assume the soreness in your limbs or pain in your belly requires special attention. Yet it’s important to report any changes to your doctor. The earlier sarcomas are detected, the more effective treatment methods can be.

Help Louisiana spread sarcoma awareness

Louisiana has the fifth highest rate of cancer mortality in the United States. The Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center is working to change those probabilities by providing accessible, personalized cancer care for Louisiana residents.

Members of our Cancer Center team are with patients and their families every step of the way. We’re proud to offer high-quality cancer care to our NOLA family.

Join us in wearing yellow this July to promote Sarcoma Awareness Month. Together we can help reduce the number of cancer diagnoses in Louisiana.

Learn more about the signs, symptoms and prevention of sarcomas by visiting the West Jefferson Medical Center website.