Cancer encompasses a wide range of diseases that occur when a genetic mutation in a cell causes it to grow quickly, multiply easier, and live longer. This mutation causes the accumulation of these non-functional malignant cells that invades into the tissues around the body. Cancer causes widespread damage and compromises entire organ systems when left untreated. The biggest reasons for cancer development in an individual is due to cellular DNA damage and genetic factors. Cancer can develop in any type of cell in the human body. When cancer occurs, it is named after the particular area or type of tissue it originates from. Once cancer has spread beyond that particular tissue or part of the body, it is referred to as metastatic cancer but still retains the name of its origination point.
Learn about the overarching types of cancer and where they originate from now.
Sarcoma is the term used to describe cancer that initially develops in the cells that make up connective tissue. Soft tissues are the types of tissue that surround, support, connect, and protect an individual's internal body structures and organs. Soft tissues include fat, nerves, joint linings, muscle, blood vessels, and tendons. Over seventy variations of sarcoma have been identified in medical research as of the present day. The cause of most cases of sarcoma is unknown, but individuals who have familial retinoblastoma, neurofibromatosis type 1, lymphedema, and herpesvirus are known to be at an increased risk of developing sarcoma. In addition, individuals exposed to certain herbicides and industrial chemicals, or those who have undergone previous radiation therapy are also at an increased risk of developing sarcoma. Imaging tests and tissue biopsies are used to make a sarcoma diagnosis. The most common types of sarcoma are vascular sarcoma, smooth muscle sarcoma, fibro histiocytic sarcomas, and liposarcoma.
Read about the next type of cancer and where it originates now.