What is fibrosarcoma ?
Fibrosarcoma is rare cancer that affects the cells called fibroblasts in your body. The role of fibroblasts is to create the fibrous tissue that is present all over the body. For instance, the connections called tendons that connect bones to muscles comprise fibrous tissue.
Because of fibrosarcoma, the fibroblasts in the body lose control and start multiplying excessively. This leads to the formation of fibrous tissue in excess quantities. Moreover, fibrosarcoma can spread to other parts of the body.
Fibrosarcoma belongs to a group of similar cancers called sarcomas. Osteosarcoma, which affects bones and rhabdomyosarcoma, affecting muscle are some other examples of sarcomas.
Although very rarely, a fibrosarcoma can affect the bones as well. However, it doesn’t affect the bone itself but the nearby fibrous tissue. Here, in this article, we will give you more information about fibrosarcomas.
It is not known clearly what leads to fibrosarcomas. However, certain genetic changes have an important role to play. Besides, several risk factors are there which increase your chance of developing fibrosarcoma.
Although fibrosarcomas can develop anywhere in the body, however, they are more likely to affect your soft tissues than others. The tumor is very rare and almost 70 percent of all bone fibrosarcomas occur in the long bones of your body. For instance, it most affects thigh bones.
The risk factors include:
A weak lymphatic system
Exposure to radiations
Exposure to certain chemicals like arsenic, dioxin, and vinyl chloride.
Some inherited genetic abnormalities may also cause various cancers.
Fibrosarcoma has similar symptoms to that of other sarcomas. So it becomes highly difficult to identify it by symptoms alone. Furthermore, the symptoms take longer to appear, which may include:
Painful or painless swelling in several portions of the body, especially the limbs.
You vomit blood
Irregular vaginal bleeding
Similarly, a fibrosarcoma of a bone may cause symptoms like
Persistent pain in the area of the tumor
A large swelling around the bones shows up when the tumor grows larger
Difficulty while moving the limbs or joints
Numbness when the tumor presses the nerves
Bones become fragile and break easily.
Your doctor will use several tests to determine the type of cancer and the type of tests that will help to identify them.
The tests include:
X-rays. These tests will help your doctor to get images of the hard structures of the body.
CT (computed tomography) scans. This test gives more details about the structure, size, and location of a tumor.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans. To get the images of various tissues of the body, it uses magnets and radio waves.
Ultrasound scans. Before a biopsy, your doctor may use this test to get more information about the fibrosarcoma.
PET (positron emission tomography) scans. It involves the injection of radioactive sugar into the body. Then, a specialist tracks this dye which gives him/her an idea about the position of a fibrosarcoma.
Biopsy. In this procedure, your doctor removes a sample of tissue from your body and examines it under a microscope. He/she will look for the changes which are present in the cells.
However, the diagnosis of a tumor is difficult. As the symptoms resemble other tumors, your doctor may order several tests at the same time. However, a biopsy is quite helpful in detecting cancer.
Depending upon the type of cancer, your doctor will go for different forms of treatment. Furthermore, the treatment options differ for different stages of fibrosarcoma.
For instance, if the tumor is in the first stage, your doctor may try to remove the tumor surgically. It stops the further spread of fibrosarcoma. Your doctor may also use radiations before and after the surgery.
In stage 2 also, the surgery is helpful. However, he/she may use a higher dose of radiation or chemotherapy. In stage 3rd, your doctor will try to remove the tumor which has spread to lymph nodes.
He/she may use a higher dose of therapies to stop the growth of the tumor. Besides, your doctor may use regional hyperthermia therapy that increases the temperature in a particular area. Stage 4 tumor is also treated to remove the tumor completely and using radiation to kill all tumor cells.
Coping and support
When you get diagnosed with fibrosarcoma, 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 fibrosarcoma to make decisionsabout control and care:
Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to fibrosarcoma. 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 fibrosarcoma.
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 fibrosarcoma.
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?