This is a type of malignant cancer that develops in connective tissues at the end of the bones that can continue to spread to other soft tissue such as the muscle, nerves, blood vessels and the tendons. This type of cancer is a part of a collection of cancers known as sarcomas and examples of this include osteosarcoma (bone), rhabdomyosarcoma (skeletal muscle) and chondrosarcoma (cartilage). The different types of sarcomas differ in their treatment and the prognosis. As this begins in the connective tissues, they appear as solid tumors. There are two types of fibrosarcoma; the one that affects the children under the age of one year is known as infantile or congenital fibrosarcoma and the other that develops among older children is known as the adult-type fibrosarcoma. This type of cancer can affect both the sex in equal frequency and appears to develop in individuals commonly between the third or the sixth decades of their life.
The symptoms are based on the size of the tumor, the location and if it has spread to other parts of the body. The tumor can continue to grow to a large size before the symptoms become apparent or can result in a fracture of the weakened bone. Pain, loss of movement and swelling are the common types of symptoms that are noticed among individuals with sarcoma of the bone. Individuals experiencing pain or swelling without any minor trauma or other conditions are advised to seek medical evaluation. Most of the individuals with this type of cancer do not exhibit the common cancer symptoms such as fatigue or weight loss.
Primarily, an x-ray can illustrate any problem with the bone. Radiographs of multiple places are also required to evaluate bone destruction. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can determine the involvement of other tissues which is important particularly for operative planning. The entire body bone scan can also detect lesions involving other parts of the bones and which can initiate a further examination of the involved area. A computer tomography (CT) of the chest can help determine if the tumor has spread to the chest, which is one of the common sites of metastasis of this type of cancer. In addition, a complete blood count, a biopsy and a lumbar punch (spinal tap) may be necessary.
The standard treatment for this type of cancer is the surgical resection. Chemotherapy prior to or after surgery is also optional for some of the cases. The chemotherapy is used to destroy the mass along with the cancer cells that are present in the body. The radiation treatment has proven to be little effective in the course of cancer. The risk of recurrence of this cancer is based on the stage of the disease.