Pediatric Sarcoma

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Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

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Sarcoma is a cancer that starts in the bones or soft tissue, such as cartilage, muscles, tendons, blood vessels or connective tissue.

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer among children. It usually begins in long bones, such as the upper arm and legs, but it can occur elsewhere. Approximately 400 children and teens in the U.S. are diagnosed with osteosarcoma every year.

With any cancer, including pediatric sarcoma, many factors go into whether it’s curable. Surviving five years after diagnosis is a common measure for cancer recovery.

Five-year survival rates for children with sarcoma are 73% for ages 14 and younger, and 68% for ages 15 and older. The five-year survival rate for osteosarcoma is 68% in children and teens. Ewing sarcoma — the second most common malignant bone cancer — has a five-year survival rate of 76% in children under age 15 and 59% in teens. Rhabdomyosarcoma affects the skeletal muscles and is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children and teens. It has a five-year survival rate of 70% in children and 50% in teens.

By their nature, long-term survival rates don’t reflect the latest advancements in treatment and may underestimate current survival chances.

Jennifer has a reconstructed knee and lower leg after surgery to remove bone cancer from her femur and is looking forward to doing great things.

Specialized Surgery to Treat Rare Sarcomas

The board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the skills and equipment to provide a precise diagnosis and treatment of sarcoma — soft tissue and bone cancer.

Our physicians’ skills and sophisticated equipment allow pinpoint treatment of the tumor while working to avoid damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

The oncology team comes together at regular conferences to share viewpoints from various perspectives that help determine the best course of treatment. It’s like getting second, third and fourth opinions all at once.

At Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, the sarcomas we treat include:

What can change prognosis and treatment

  • The part of the body where the tumor first formed.
  • The size and grade of the tumor.
  • The type of soft tissue sarcoma.
  • How deep the tumor is under the skin.
  • Whether the tumor has spread to other places in the body and where it has spread.
  • The amount of tumor remaining after surgery to remove it.
  • Whether radiation therapy was used to treat the tumor.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred.

The Norton Children’s Difference

Norton Children’s Hospital’s cancer care program is one of the oldest oncology programs in the U.S. that has been continuously accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. Backed by our pediatric physicians’ more than 100 years of combined expertise, we have a proven cancer care team of leading specialists, including oncologists, surgeons, nurses, social workers, chaplains, behaviorists, therapists and pharmacists. This skilled, multidisciplinary team is entirely focused on the needs of your child and family.

In addition, we are home to:

  • Kentucky’s leading multidisciplinary pediatric brain tumor program
  • Kentucky’s only pediatric apheresis and pediatric photopheresis programs
  • An immunotherapy program
  • One of the country’s largest sickle cell anemia treatment programs
  • Adolescent and youg adult program; adolescent and young adult transition clinic
  • Kentucky’s only CAR-T cell therapy treatment for pediatric patients
  • Life after cancer survivorship program
  • Pediatric bleeding and clotting program (hemostasis and thrombosis)

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