What is the difference between carcinoma and sarcoma?
Both are types of cancer. They both end in “oma,” a suffix meaning tumor or cancer. But this is where the similarities between cancer and sarcoma end. Instead, these two types of cancers differ in more ways than they are alike, starting with the fact that carcinoid tumors are very common and sarcomas are very rare. However, the biggest difference between the two has nothing to do with how often they occur, but rather where they occur.
The main difference between carcinoid tumors and sarcomas is due to the tissue.
Cancer forms in the skin or in the cells of the tissues that line the body’s internal organs, such as the kidneys and liver. Sarcomas grow in cells of the body’s connective tissue, which include fat, blood vessels, nerves, bone, muscle, deep tissues of skin and cartilage.
Cancers are the most common type of cancer.
Cancer subtypes include:
Cancer symptoms and treatments depend on the subtype. Common symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include open sores, red spots, pink growths, and shiny bumps or scars. On the other hand, squamous cell carcinomas tend to crust or bleed and can appear as scaly patches, open sores, or warts. Cancer treatment often includes surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy.
Sarcomas have more than 50 subtypes.
Sarcomas are classified in two ways:
- Soft tissue sarcoma , which forms in soft tissue
- Osteosarcoma (or osteosarcoma) , which develops in bone tissue, cartilage, or bone marrow
The first sign of sarcoma in an arm, leg, or trunk is usually a painless lump or swelling. Sarcomas are generally treated with surgery and are more difficult to treat than carcinoid tumors.
However, new research has found that some sarcomas have a greater immune response than others and may respond to certain checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs are a type of immunotherapy that works by disrupting the communication signals that allow cancer cells to hide from the immune system, exposing the tumor to the body’s defenses. The study identified patterns of immune response in common subtypes of sarcoma, including leiomyosarcoma and liposarcoma, both of which are soft tissue sarcomas. says Asha Karibut, MD, an oncologist and hematologist at our Tulsa hospital. “This is where the research in this area is now focused: developing treatments that can be customized for each sarcoma.”