Overview

Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Cancer Care in the Western Suburbs

The experienced cancer treatment team at Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor, has the expertise to diagnose and treat bone soft tissue sarcoma at state-of-the-art facilities close to home.

Sarcoma Screening and Diagnosis

Sarcoma may have no symptoms or may present symptoms that mimic other diseases, such as pain, swelling and redness around the tumor; fever, fatigue, weight loss and numbness due to nerve compression. It’s important that you talk to your doctor about your symptoms and risk factors.

Soft tissue sarcoma attacks about 12,000 American adults each year. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons, blood vessels, lymph vessels, fat and nerves. Risk factors for soft tissue sarcoma include radiation or chemical exposure, a damaged lymph system and inherited conditions such as neurofibromatosis or Gardner syndrome.

Diagnostic tests for identifying sarcoma include:

  • X-rays
  • CT or MRI - to determine the extent of your disease
  • Biopsy of the tumor - needle biopsy or surgical biopsy to remove tissue to be looked at under a microscope a procedure in which tissue samples are removed (with a needle or during surgery) from the body for examination under a microscope

Sarcoma Treatments

Treatment for your sarcoma depends on your overall health, extent of the disease and your tolerance for various therapies.

Surgery
Your specialized cancer surgeon can remove tumors of the soft tissue and the retroperiteneum as well as areas where the cancer has metastasized. Often radiation is used in a combination with surgery.

Radiation Therapy
External beam therapy sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. For sarcoma, internal radiation may be an option. This is called brachytherapy and uses a catheter inserted into the body cavity to allow a small radioactive seed to travel directly to the surgical area for a more focused form of radiation. This type of treatment allows the radiation dose to be given over a shorter time period.

Chemotherapy
For advanced tumors, drugs are administered, either intravenously or orally, to interfere with the cancer cell’s ability to reproduce. Your experienced medical oncologist will determine the best combination of medications for your stage of cancer.

Clinical Trials
You can participate in clinical trials, which focus on new treatment options for sarcoma.

Support Services for Sarcoma

If you are battling sarcoma, LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, part of Northwestern Medicine, can be a vital component of your treatment and recovery. LivingWell serves as a gathering place providing comfort and community to anyone experiencing the effects of cancer. The LivingWell staff works to ensure that you and your family feel less isolated, better informed, more hopeful and empowered to take on the challenge of facing cancer.

Learn more about cancer support services in the western suburbs.

Make An Appointment

The care team partners work with your referring physician to ensure coordinated care from diagnosis through survivorship. To make an appointment with a cancer specialist, please call 630.352.5450 (Warrenville) or 630.232.0610 (Delnor Hospital campus). TTY for the hearing impaired 630.933.4833.