Epithelioid sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that affects the soft tissues of the body. It affects the parts like the soft tissues of the hands, lower leg or foot, the skin of a finger, forearms and is growing very slowly. However, it can occur in any part of the body.
Usually, small, painless firm growth or lump develops in epithelioid sarcoma. In the beginning, a single outgrowth may result, but time multiple growths occur. Sometimes, you may confuse the epithelioid sarcoma with an ulcer that doesn’t heal. It may even look like an open wound.
Furthermore, young adults and teenagers usually develop the distal-type (classic form) of epithelioid sarcoma. Moreover, there is another more aggressive form of this cancer. This form is called proximal-type (large-cell) epithelioid sarcoma and affects adults.
It is not exactly clear what causes an epithelioid sarcoma. However, doctors know that it mainly affects young adults. Meanwhile, no age group is safe. Epithelioid sarcoma tends to spread to other areas as well.
Furthermore, they show a higher tendency of recurrence. Therefore, to prevent the tumor from growing, it is necessary to consult your doctor. A proper diagnosis at the right is highly necessary.
There are several signs and symptoms associate with epithelioid sarcoma. However, as the tumor grows slowly, it becomes quite tough to detect cancer at the right time.
The tumor is painless in the beginning. This lengthens the period of diagnosis. You may develop a wart or a persistent cyst. The cyst may be present in the fingers, forearms, hands, Treatment
The tumor appears as a soft, small mass or sometimes a series of bumps. The mass may be hard and firm. Furthermore, some patients may confuse the epithelioid sarcoma with an ulcer. The tumor may mater spread to other areas as well.
One may confuse an epithelioid sarcoma with other similar conditions. Thus, it becomes highly difficult to diagnose the tumor on time. For instance, what you see as an ulcer may be an epithelioid sarcoma.
Physical examination. Your doctor will ask you many questions before checking your body physically. He/she will try to know more about your general health and symptoms associated with the condition. Your doctor may ask you about the history of the lesion as well as your family history.
After that, your healthcare provider will physically examine your body. He/she may inspect several things about the mass of tumor,, its location, how it feels, and the skin changes in the area. If your doctor expects something doubtful, he/she is going to order other tests.
Imaging tests. Various other imaging scans are helpful. These scans show whether your surgeon can remove an epithelioid Sarcoma tumor safely. It will also help in finding if the tumor is in contact with other tissues.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI is performed when you lie still and flat on a plain surface of the machine. Then, this surface take you inside the tube of the MRI machine. To create a detailed, 3-D image inside your body, it uses radio waves and a magnetic field.
Computed tomography (CT) scan. Similar to the MRI, your doctor may also perform a CT scan. It connects with a computer and takes pictures.
Biopsy. It is the ultimate test that will help your doctor confirm epithelioid sarcoma. In this test, your doctor will remove a part of the tumor and examine the cells under a microscope.
It needs careful planning by the medical team to determine the type of biopsy needed and determining how a doctor should perform it.
A doctor should perform the biopsy in a way so that it doesn’t interfere with future surgery to eliminate cancer. That’s why you need to ask your doctor to refer a team of experts who have extensive experience. They will help you treat cancer before the biopsy.
However, your doctor will take special care while performing a biopsy, as it might become more difficult to remove the tumor during a later operation.
The motive of surgery is to remove all the tumors. But, if the tumor has spread to other areas, it may not be possible to remove epithelioid sarcoma. This is important when the tumor has spread to some vital organs.
However, other treatment options may be helpful if the surgery is not successful. This is important to kill all the remaining cancer cells with the help of other treatments, like radiation and chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy. This method uses some powerful drugs that can kill cancer kills. Thus, your doctor uses a combination of drugs, which he/she administrates through a vein. However, depending on the exact location of your tumor, your doctor may choose which drugs to administrate.
To kill the remaining cancer cells, your doctor may use chemotherapy after surgery or radiation therapy. Furthermore, to shrink a tumor that makes surgery or radiation therapy more effective, your doctor may use this form of treatment.
To kill the tumor cells, radiation therapy uses beams of high energy like protons and X-rays. A machine is usually utilized for this that moves around you. It focuses on the radiations at some particular points of the body.
It may be beneficial to kill the remaining cancer cells after surgery or another form of treatment. Furthermore, it may be quite helpful to kill the cancerous cells of epithelioid sarcoma instead of surgery. In case the tumor is nearby some vital organs, at that time radiation therapy is beneficial.
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 epithelioid 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 epithelioid sarcoma to make decisionsabout control and care:
Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to epithelioid 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 epithelioid 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 epithelioid 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?