A name given to a type of cancer based on the body tissue the cancer cells most closely resemble. Examples include liposarcoma resembling fat tissue, osteosarcoma resembling bone tissue, leiomyosarcoma resembling smooth muscle tissue, and chondrosarcoma resembling cartilage tissue. Another way doctors classify sarcomas is by grade: high, low, and intermediate.
Sarcomas are treated with surgery (including amputation), chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. Chemotherapy for sarcomas can last for many months, to more than one year. The stage of sarcoma can vary at diagnosis and throughout treatment. The Tumor, Node, Metastatis (TNM) staging system is used to describe different areas of cancer growth along with Stage Grouping using Stages I, II, III, or IV. Staging systems describe the extent of cancer throughout the body and help doctors determine which treatments to offer. The effectiveness of the treatment may depend upon the stage at diagnosis.