Diagnosing Pediatric Sarcomas

This information is useful for children
A teenager in a hoodie sweatshirt who could have sarcoma.

Sarcoma is a word derived from the Greek word “sarc,” meaning flesh or soft tissue. It defines a group of malignant tumors that occur mostly in muscle, fibrous tissue, adipose, nerve and vascular tissue. 

The most common type of pediatric sarcoma is rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumor of the skeletal muscle. As children grow older, into their teens, sarcomas are more likely to be found in bone, such as osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma. 

“Pediatric sarcomas are rare, but when they occur, an expedited diagnosis means expedited treatment,” says Raffaella Morotti, MD, a Yale Medicine pathologist in the Department of Pathology.