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What you need to know about the 'forgotten cancer'

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month
July is Sarcoma Awareness Month 04:27

Sarcoma is a rare but treatable disease that is often referred to as the "forgotten cancer." It happens when malignant cells form in the bones or soft tissues of the body.

"It's called the forgotten cancer because it's a relatively rare cancer. It's never the first thing that pops up in someone's mind or somebody's radar," says Dr. Daniel Lerman, an orthopedic surgeon with Colorado Limb Consultants at Presbyterian/Saint Luke's.

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month, a time to educate people about the disease. The two large categories that sarcomas fall into are bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.

"If someone is diagnosed or concerned that they may have a sarcoma, it's very important to seek specialists who have expertise in sarcoma treatment. The management of them is very specific and it can often be misdiagnosed."

Unfortunately, there is no screening protocol for sarcomas since they are incredibly rare.

"Just because there there's no screening doesn't mean we shouldn't be conscious of them being a possibility."

Dr. Lerman says to look out for a deep, throbbing pain that you can't quite explain, almost like a toothache.

"If you have a deep, achy, throbbing pain for a prolonged time, don't dismiss it. It's worth getting it checked out," says Dr. Lerman. "You need to listen to your body, but also be an advocate for yourself and for your loved ones."

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