July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. Few people can tell you that sarcoma is a rare cancer of the soft tissue and bone with over 70 subtypes. And even advocacy groups call it “a forgotten cancer.” But for the tens of thousands of Americans living with sarcoma, sarcoma isn’t rare: it’s a daily reality.
Sarcoma deserves recognition 365 days a year, not just this month.
Knowing that sarcoma requires various treatment options at various stages of discovery, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) are working hard through the Musculoskeletal Tumor Registry (MsTR) to help clinicians and health systems track function, complications and outcomes in patients treated for sarcomas. The Registry fills a gap in current sarcoma care by focusing on quality-of-life and functional outcomes at a scale not previously attempted. As such, it is helping pave the way to find a cure for sarcoma.
The following orthopaedic surgeons are available to lend insight into diagnosis, treatment and improved quality of life for sarcoma patients. What’s more, they can share patient stories and speak to the role a Registry like the MsTR plays in allowing surgeons to combine data from institutions around the country, potentially answering treatment and outcome questions otherwise unable to be answered due to the rarity of the disease.
- Benjamin Miller, MD, MS, FAAOS
- Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa
- Chair of the MsTR Steering Committee
- Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS
- Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pennsylvania
- Past-President, AAOS
- MsTR Steering Committee member
- Eric R Henderson, MD, FAAOS
- Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
- MsTR Steering Committee Member
SARCOMA FACTS: Did you know?
- In 2020, the American Cancer Society estimates about 13,130 new soft tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed (7,470 in males and 5,660 in females).
- Sarcoma research represents less than 3% of all active clinical trials for cancer in the United States. (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- Bone and joint cancer treatments are costly to administer. While the per-patient cost will vary widely depending on the treatments utilized, and the number and intensity of treatments, treatments can easily exceed $100,000 for a single patient.
- Multiple myeloma is the most common primary bone cancer. It is a malignant tumor of bone marrow and any bone can be affected by this cancer (OrthoInfo). The American Cancer Society estimates the lifetime risk of getting multiple myeloma is 1 in 132 (0.76%) in the United States.
- There are about 800 to 900 new cases of Osteosarcoma, the second most common primary bone cancer, diagnosed in the United States annually with most cases in teenagers and children (American Cancer Society).
- Most tumors develop around the knee in either the femur (thighbone) or tibia (shinbone).
For more information about the Registry, visit https://www.aaos.org/registries/MsTR