Clear Cell Sarcoma (Melanoma of the soft tissues)
Clear cell sarcoma or soft tissue melanoma or malignant melanoma of soft parts is a type of cancer that affects the soft tissues of the body. It occurs in soft tissues like muscles, nerves, blood vessels, fat, and tendons.
Furthermore, it is a very rare type of tumor that usually develops in the tissues present in the extremities. It particularly affects the legs of a person.
Moreover, the symptoms and thus treatment varies from person to person. But, most of the clear cell sarcomas are very serious. Thus, you need to consult a doctor as soon as you detect the signs.
It is not clear what leads to the clear cell sarcoma. However, researchers know that cancer has an association with some defects in genes.
Researchers figure out that there occurs a shifting of a particular gene from one place to the next on a chromosome. This shifting is termed a gene translocation.
Besides, there are some other genetic changes (mutations) that occur in this tumor. After that, the cells start diving quickly because of these mutations. This leads to the formation of more and more cells. The normal cells will die with time, while cancer cells remain.
Symptoms of clear cell sarcoma?
In the initial stages, there may be no signs and symptoms. Thus, you may not detect your clear cell sarcoma for a long time. However, it is highly necessary to detect the tumor at the right time.
However, depending on how deep your tumor is, you may notice a slow-growing lump. Furthermore, the tumor may cause more complications as it grows with time. It may affect the function of organs and tendons after invading these tissues.
Moreover, with time, you may develop more advanced signs and symptoms. These may include.
Loss of appetite
Before going for the main tests, your doctor may try to detect your Clear cell sarcoma by reviewing your symptoms and physical examinations. Usually, only after ruling out other types of cancers, your doctor may be able to detect this cancer.
The main tests and procedures include:
Physical exam. Here, a doctor will try to know about your symptoms and whether there was any change in these symptoms. To understand the size and depth of your tumor, he/she will examine your tumor in a better way. This will give him/her an idea about any signs of soft tissue damage and swelling.
Imaging tests. To get clear pictures of the area of the tumor, your doctor may recommend your imaging tests. These tests will give more information to your doctor. He/she may order imaging tests like rays, MRI, CT, and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
CT (computed tomography) scan. This method utilizes X-rays, which take the images of your tumor from many angles. This gives your doctor more details about the tumor.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This method uses powerful magnets and radio waves to make clear pictures of various organs. Thus, it provides more information about various aspects of your tumor.
Biopsy (Removing a sample of tissue for testing). In this procedure, your doctor removes a sample of tissue from your tumor site and then observes it under a microscope.
A technical person will see whether or not the cells are cancerous. Furthermore, your doctor may collect the sample by inserting the needle into your skin. However, the exact method will depend on the particular situation.
Thus, it requires careful planning by a medical team to determine what type of biopsy would be beneficial for you. Your doctor will look for the best way that can help him/her treat your Clear Cell Sarcoma.
The type of surgery should not interfere with future interventions to remove the tumor. This is why your doctor may refer you to an expert team that has great experience in treating soft tissue sarcomas.
How is clear cell sarcoma treated?
The treatment for Clear Cell Sarcoma typically involves surgery to remove the entire tumor. Your doctor may also use other procedures after surgery to kill the cancerous cells.
Treatment options include:
Surgery. For several tumors, the treatment options include surgery. Thus, your doctor may recommend surgery wherein he/she removes the tumor along with some healthy tissue around it. This way your doctor makes sure whether the cancerous cells are completely removed during surgery.
Radiation therapy. This procedure uses powerful energy beams such as X-rays and protons to kill the tumor cells. In case your doctor is not able to remove the tumor surgically, he/she may recommend radiation therapy.
Targeted therapy. This method uses drugs that help to kill the tumor cells. The drugs focus on some specific traits of a tumor that make them vulnerable to death.
For instance, individuals suffering from clear cell sarcoma may have cancerous cells that show the presence of a protein in excess. Thus, the drugs called ifosfamide and doxorubicin helps target and kill these cells. Moreover, your doctor may recommend this procedure only if the tumor shows recurrence.
An option can be clinical trials to test new forms of treatment. Thus, whether you can participate in a clinical trial or not, you should ask your doctor.
Coping and support
When you get diagnosed with Clear Cell Sarcoma, it could be frightening for you. The condition will be no different for your family.
However, you may learn to cope with the uncertainty and distress related to cancer with time. Thus, you need to follow these instructions until then;
Call on for medical support:
Various things are going to help you. For instance, the knowledge and understanding of a medical social worker, or any other mental health professional is necessary. They will help you in understanding your cancer.
Furthermore, if your child or other family member suffers from cancer, you need to ask health care professionals for advice. They will provide you with options for medical health support. This will also provide you with emotional and social support.
In addition to this, you can check various online services that will provide you support to combat cancer.
- Gain more knowledge about Clear Cell Sarcoma to make decisionsabout control and care:
Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to Clear Cell Sarcoma. Little knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, more confidence in understanding and making decisions about treatment options will be there with you. So you should always learn more about the disease.
Ask the health care team for guidance if your child has cancer. Therefore, get more and more information for appropriately caring for the patient.
Be close to your friends and family:
A close and strong relationship with your family and friends is necessary. It will help you deal with Clear Cell Sarcoma.
You need practical support, moral support from your friends and relatives. Thus, someone should be there for you to look after the family. Emotional support from them is going to matter most. Thus, a healthy and happy person will ultimately efficiently fight the disease.
Prepare for your appointment
You are likely to start making an appointment with your primary care doctor if some signs and symptoms worry you. Ask for a referral to an experienced specialist if your doctor suspects Clear Cell Sarcoma.
A team of specialists typically can treat. For instance;
Tumor surgeons who have specialization in operating soft tissue cancers.
Doctors who have a specialization in treating cancers with systemic medications or chemotherapy.
Pathologists diagnose the specific type of cancer by analyzing a tissue.
Rehabilitation specialists who after surgery help in the recovery of a tumor.
What you should expect from your doctor:
You will face several questions from your doctor. Thus, you should be ready to answer these. So, give more time to your doctor to address them. Your doctor may ask;
What signs and symptoms concern you more?
Have your symptoms been occasional or continuous?
When did you start to notice the symptoms?
The severity of your symptoms?
Is there anything that improves your symptoms?
Is there anything that worsens your symptoms?
Do you have any family or personal history of cancer?