Spindle cell sarcoma is an uncommon cancerous lesion or tumor that forms in an individual's soft tissues or bone. The most prominent locations for spindle cell sarcoma to develop are in the limbs, but it can form in any part of the body. Spindle cell sarcoma occurs more often in men than it does in women, and it is known to most commonly affect individuals past their fourth decade of life. The only known cause of spindle cell sarcoma is previous therapy or treatment with the use of radiation. MRI scans, x-rays, PET CT scans, CT scans, and tissue biopsies are utilized in the diagnosis of spindle cell sarcoma. Treatment for spindle cell sarcoma heavily relies on surgical excision of the tumor, but chemotherapy may also be used in some cases.
While symptoms vary according to the location of the tumor, there are several general signs of spindle cell sarcoma.
Bone pain is the most common symptom of spindle cell sarcoma. The most common bones affected by spindle cell sarcoma are the bones of the knee joint, pelvis, upper arm, the thigh bone, and the shin bone. The pain in the bone affected by spindle cell sarcoma can be continuous, or it may be intermittent. Individuals who have been affected by spindle cell sarcomas of the bone have described the bone pain to be a deep or dull focal achiness, which means it's specific to a region or bone. The pain caused by a growing spindle cell sarcoma in the bone is known to become worse as the malignancy grows and time progresses. The severity of bone pain may become worse over time, and the frequency of bone pain may increase over time. An individual's cancer-related bone pain may become more noticeable over time with specific activities. Individuals who experience a bone fracture due to the weakness their spindle cell sarcoma has created in the affected bone will experience a different type of bone pain associated with a broken bone.
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Swelling And Tenderness
An individual affected by spindle cell sarcoma may experience swelling and tenderness in the affected part of the body. Tenderness is a painful sensation when the affected area is physically touched. When a part of the body is tender, it is the result of swelling, redness, and inflammation of the area. Cancer cells in spindle cell sarcoma cause the affected tissues to experience cellular break down at the site because the proliferating malignant cells crowd out all of the healthy cells. When any cells in the body become damaged due to overcrowding cancer cells, the patient's body responds by sending an influx of white blood cells and other immune components to the site to mediate the damage. The blood vessels around the site of spindle cell sarcoma become dilated, which causes fluid to leak out of the blood vessel walls into the surrounding tissue. All of these factors cause the compression of different types of tissue around spindle cell sarcoma, including the nerve cells. Tenderness occurs because the nerves are more sensitive when they are under pressure.
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Reduced mobility in a part of the body may occur due to spindle cell sarcoma. Reduced mobility describes the inability of an individual to move a part of their body to the full range they should be able to move it. There are a few ways spindle cell carcinoma can cause reduced mobility. When the spindle cell sarcoma is close to any of the joints, it can grow to the point where it impedes the healthy movement of the bones and muscles controlling that particular joint. A spindle cell sarcoma can cause damage to the nerve cells responsible for transmitting impulses to specific muscles, which can cause impairment in the mobility of that muscle. A patient's spindle cell sarcoma can cause a significant amount of pain when they move in a certain way, which would also limit their ability to move the affected part of the body. The inflammatory process that ensues when cancer cells damage healthy cells can cause the affected part of the body to swell, which is also known to cause reduced mobility and loss of range of motion.
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Fatigue And Malaise
Like most forms of cancer, spindle cell sarcoma can use up valuable resources in the body that would otherwise be used for healthy cells, causing fatigue and malaise. Growing cancer cells require energy, nutrients, and oxygen to grow and multiply effectively. Cancer cells in a spindle cell carcinoma require a constant supply of blood just like any other healthy cell. Nutrients are absorbed from the food an individual eats and then metabolized into molecules the cells can utilize. The cells use these molecules to produce energy, which is required along with oxygen for them to live and function. When there is a shortage of these resources, the body selectively allocates nutrients and energy to the cells that perform vital functions like breathing and moving the heart muscle instead of those that move the arms and legs. There is less energy for the individual to move around and perform routine daily tasks because the cancerous cells are taking up resources. Patients may experience fatigue and malaise because their cells are not receiving what they need.
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Lump Or Mass
Any soft tissue or bone in the body can develop spindle cell sarcoma. Because a spindle cell sarcoma is a form of cancer, it will continue to grow larger in the body when it is left untreated. Spindle cell sarcoma can grow large enough to where it can be felt from over the individual's skin. This symptom typically occurs with spindle cell sarcomas that develop in parts of the body or on the bones that do not have much adipose tissue around them. There are no specific characteristics common with spindle cell sarcoma, so they can feel hard or soft and be big or small. The lump or mass an individual feels that has formed as spindle cell sarcoma does not typically cause much pain until it becomes large enough to impair the function of the structures and tissues around it. A lump or mass formed by spindle cell sarcoma also has no characteristic rate of growth, meaning it can be fast-growing or slow-growing. A biopsy of a lump or mass can determine if it is spindle cell sarcoma.