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Dr. Eric Nadler: Putting the Spotlight on Sarcoma

July 30, 2020

Sarcomas are a group of rare cancers comprising less than 3% of all cancers in adults and 7% of cancers in children. Eric Nadler, M.D., MPP, medical oncologist and hematologist at Texas Oncology–Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, shares important insights during Sarcoma Awareness Month.

How do you best describe sarcomas to those who are unfamiliar?

At a basic level, I tell my patients there are three types of cancer: blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma; carcinomas, which are cancers of organs, like breast, lung, or kidney cancer; and sarcomas, which are exceedingly rare and cancers of the connective tissues – the tissues that hold us together – such as bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat.

About half of all sarcoma patients are under the age of 40."

What are the most common misconceptions about sarcomas?

One of the most common misconceptions – and there are many – is that sarcomas only affect children. Sarcomas can appear in people of any age, from young children to older adults. About half of all sarcoma patients are under the age of 40.

How has treatment for sarcoma evolved in recent years?

Understanding of the classification and molecular origins of sarcoma has changed markedly in the past five years. This innovation has allowed us to expand and develop novel treatments and clinical studies to better treat and understand this disease – and we’re learning more all the time.

Because sarcomas account for less than 3% of all cancers occurring in adults, and because there are numerous types of sarcomas, the data is much less clear than more common cancers, such as prostate, breast or lung cancers for example.

Because of the rarity of each type of sarcoma, patients often benefit from being treated in specialty, high-volume cancer centers with access to clinical research studies and surgical expertise from these very rare cancers.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.