DISEASES WE TREAT
The diagnosis must be based on clinical history, images (regular x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, bone scans, etc.) and the biopsy.
Given the rare occurrence of these tumours, it is very important that the team of radiologists and pathologists who work together in the clinical diagnosis are also experts in the field.
The treatment of these tumours must be based on three key stages: surgery, chemotherapy and occasionally, radiotherapy.
It is absolutely essential that the diagnostic process and start of treatment are carried out as quickly as possible. Delays could compromise the patient´s chance of survival.
The first signs of this are continuous pain, even throughout the night, along with a lump, which appears to be growing, and is commonly found in children and adolescents.
Imaging tests (x-rays, gammagraphy, CT, MRI or PET scans) must be carried out promptly, to allow the doctors to evaluate whether the disease has spread to other organs.
Sarcomas form metastases via the blood, and therefore, the first place it could spread to is the lungs.
There´s scientific evidence that a delay in the start of treatment significantly reduces the patient´s chances of being cured.
A biopsy is a test that confirms any clinical-radiological diagnostic suspicions. The team that will treat the patient must carry out the biopsy (a poorly carried out biopsy could compromise the possibility of conserving the patient´s limb or even their life). It must be evaluated by pathology experts, particularly because of the rarity of this disease.
Treatment consists in a combination of cytostatic drugs (chemotherapy) and bone resection surgery, for the area affected by the tumour and reconstruction procedures to make it as functional as possible.
We always aim to conserve limbs right from the beginning as we have such vast experience in this field. In fact, surgical techniques were developed here in the 1980s, to conserve patients´ limbs and it´s functionality, that are now starting to be be used in other parts of the world (Holland, England, Switzerland, Italy, Scandinavia, Japan, Brazil, etc.) and prestigious surgeons from other countries come to the Clínica for their training.
The symptomology is the same as for Osteosarcoma but is frequently found in the axial skeleton (pelvis, backbone, should blade, collarbone or ribs).
The diagnostic imaging tests must be carried out as quickly as possible; in our centre we usually do them in less than 24 hours, because delays diminish the survival rate.
Treatment, just as with osteosarcoma, consists in an appropriate combination of cytostatics (for which, once again, the medical team´s experience is fundamental) along with surgery. When patients are treated in experienced centres, normally the preoperative treatment is very efficient and aids limb conservation surgery enormously.
For Ewing´s sarcoma occasionally it is necessary to use radiotherapy as an adjuvant treatment to locally control the disease.
Should be suspected if a lump appears that:
- Measures over 5cm
- Is deep below the fascia
In civilised countries, all patients suspected of having a sarcoma are brought to an experienced centre.
In children, sarcomas are divided into rhabdomyosarcomas and non- rhabdomyosarcomas. Unlike with soft structure sarcomas in adults, they usually respond well to treatment with chemotherapy.
Surgery also plays a fundamental role. Only the first surgeon can remove the entirety of the tumour, and therefore reduce the possibilities of a relapse.
There is scientific evidence to suggest that the survival rates for this disease are not the same in all hospitals.