What Is Synovial Sarcoma?


Quick Answer

A synovial sarcoma is a rare cancer and a high-grade tumor, according to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. It is a soft-tissue sarcoma that may be classified into subtypes based on appearance or the specific gene mutation involved.

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What Is Synovial Sarcoma?
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Full Answer

Synovial sarcomas account for about 8 percent of all malignant tumors of soft tissues, reports the Sarcoma Iinitiative. Although the tumor may afflict people of either sex and of any age group, it is more frequent among young adults and slightly more common in males. The tumor can appear as a progressively expanding mass anywhere in the soft part of the body, and the cancer spreads to distant sites in up to 50 percent of cases.

A synovial sarcoma occurs mainly in the arms and legs, near large joints, especially the knees, and it may escape notice until it becomes painful, state the Sarcoma Initiative. Despite what its name implies, the tumor has never been known to come from synovial cells, which are the cells that line a joint. As of 2015, the cells of origin for synovial sarcomas remain unknown.

Because the tumor grows slowly, diagnosis may be delayed. The tumor can be detected via X-ray or imaging, can be diagnosed via biopsy, and is confirmed via cytogenetic studies. The primary treatment is to surgically remove the entire tumor, associated muscle and lymph nodes. Chemotherapy, radiation or other treatments may be prescribed after surgery, according to MedicineNet.

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