Sarcoma

Sarcoma overview

You are at the center of everything we do at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Here, we surround you with a team of specialists who work together closely to provide expertly targeted, complete care and compassionate support throughout your treatment and beyond.

SCCA has been a leader in sarcoma care for more than 40 years, providing world-class services to thousands of people with sarcoma and related conditions.

We guide you every step of the way, combining our deep clinical expertise in soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer with a commitment to meet your unique needs. Along with treating your cancer, we do all we can to help make you whole after this life-altering experience.

Why choose SCCA for sarcoma treatment? 

  • True team care
    Sarcoma is a rare cancer that is often hard to diagnose and treat. So it’s critical that you’re seen at a multidisciplinary cancer center where sarcoma specialists collaborate to determine the best treatment approach for you. Our internationally recognized experts form the only multidisciplinary sarcoma team in the Pacific Northwest. Physical therapists, dietitians and other professionals are also here to support your recovery.
  • Experienced sarcoma specialists
    Every year we treat more people with sarcoma than any other cancer center in the region. People come from around the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and farther to see SCCA surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists who focus exclusively on treating sarcoma.
  • Comprehensive sarcoma treatment 
    Our doctors treat all types of sarcoma and provide the most advanced sarcoma treatments available. Based on the unique characteristics of your tumor, your team may recommend surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, proton therapy or another form of radiation therapy, all available at SCCA.
  • Sarcoma clinical trials
    Our objective is to bring you the treatments of tomorrow today. SCCA unites the leading researchers and cancer specialists of Fred Hutch and UW Medicine so you can take part in soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer clinical studies not available anywhere else.
  • Where you’re treated first matters most
    Treatment at a multidisciplinary cancer center, like SCCA, leads to better outcomes. Research has also shown that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. Patients who begin treatment at SCCA often have better outcomes than those who started treatment elsewhere.
  • A national leader in cancer care
    SCCA is the leading cancer treatment center in the region and among the top nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • NCI comprehensive cancer center
    We are a comprehensive cancer center, the highest designation awarded by the National Cancer Institute. This reflects our scientific leadership and the depth and breadth of our research to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Radiation oncologist A physician who has special training in using radiation to treat cancer. Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.

Facts

In recent years, doctors have gained a better understanding of sarcoma growth patterns, the risks of sarcoma spreading and the most effective treatment options. As a result, survival following treatment for sarcoma has improved tremendously. SCCA offers comprehensive treatment from a team of experts who specialize in soft tissue sarcomas and bone cancers.

Treatment

Sarcoma is often hard to treat, so it’s important to receive care at a specialized center with sarcoma expertise. 

SCCA experts offer comprehensive, team-based soft tissue sarcoma treatment as well as bone cancer treatment, including advanced therapies and new options available only through clinical studies.

In most cases, you have time to consider your options and get a second opinion — even a third opinion — before deciding what kind of treatment is right for you. A diagnosis of cancer can feel overwhelming. We have an experienced, compassionate team ready to help.

Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease.

Noncancerous conditions

Our orthopedic oncology team also treats patients who have noncancerous (benign) bone and soft tissue tumors. These physicians offer all treatment types, with specialized expertise in surgical management of noncancerous tumors and complex limb reconstruction.

Providers

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.

Clinical trials

SCCA was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For sarcoma patients, this means more treatment options at SCCA than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in one of many ongoing clinical trials conducted at SCCA and its partner organizations, Fred Hutch and UW Medicine.

Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease.

Resources

There are many resources online for learning about your disease, as well as organizations that provide community and support for your cancer diagnosis. Health educators at the SCCA Patient and Family Resource Center have compiled a list of trusted sources to help you get started.

Sarcoma surveillance

We understand that surveillance and supportive care is equally important as cancer treatment for our patients. Our Sarcoma Surveillance Clinic offers monitoring for patients who have completed their sarcoma treatment. This includes routine follow-up exams and scan review, which is important in order to detect possible early signs or sarcoma recurrence or metastatic disease.

Metastatic A metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread to other areas of the body by way of the lymph system or bloodstream. Recurrence Cancer that has come back, usually after a period during which it could not be detected. It may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or someplace else. Also called recurrent cancer. Sign In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. Some examples of signs are fever, swelling, skin rash, high blood pressure and high blood glucose. Surveillance Closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. In medicine, surveillance means closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. It may also be used for a person who has an increased risk of a disease, such as cancer. During surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule. In public health, surveillance may also refer to the ongoing collection of information about a disease, such as cancer, in a certain group of people. The information collected may include where the disease occurs in a population and whether it affects people of a certain gender, age or ethnic group.