Learn all about synovial cell sarcoma. The name “synovial sarcoma” was coined early in the 20th century, as some researchers thought that the microscopic similarity of some tumors to synovium, and its propensity to arise adjacent to joints, indicated a synovial origin; however, the actual cells from which the tumor develops are unknown and not necessarily synovial.
Malignant (cancerous) tumors of the connective tissues are called “sarcomas,” a term derived from a Greek work, meaning fleshy growth. The reported incidence of synovial sarcomas ranges from 5.6% to 10% among all soft tissue sarcomas. According to the AFIP, synovial sarcoma ranks as the fourth most common sarcoma after malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma and rhabdosarcoma.
Synovial sarcoma is a type of soft-tissue sarcoma. It is a rare cancer. Only about 1 to 3 individuals in a million people are diagnosed with this disease each year. It can occur at any age, but it is more common among teenagers and young adults. Synovial sarcoma seems to have a slight preference for males, with 12 male patients for every 10 female patients. High doses of radiation, for example as previous cancer therapy, are a clear risk factor for soft tissue sarcomas.
The stage of cancer is measured by how much it has grown or spread which can be seen on the results of your tests and scans. The results from a biopsy can tell what grade the cancer is. Approximately 15,000 new cases of sarcoma are diagnosed in the United States every year. While sarcomas account for fewer than 2% of all adult cancers, they are one of the top five most commonly diagnosed cancers afflicting children. Sarcomas do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status.
The only way to cure a soft tissue sarcoma is to remove it with surgery, so surgery is part of the treatment for all soft tissue sarcomas whenever possible. It is important that your surgeon and other doctors are experienced in the treatment of sarcomas. These are difficult tumors to treat and require both experience and expertise. Radiation therapy is another option, especially if radiation wasn’t part of the treatment of the original tumor. If external beam radiation was used before, brachytherapy may still be an option. Sarcoma is not typically preventable. Radiation therapy, though, is a risk factor, so reducing exposure to it may be preventive, although a need for radiation therapy usually outweighs any subsequent sarcoma risk.
Synovial Cell Sarcoma Cancer
Synovial sarcoma is a soft tissue tumor occurring in the biphasic or monophasic type and consisting of epithelial and/or spindle cell components. Synovial sarcomas are usually found in the arms or legs around a joint capsule. Synovial sarcoma develops in cells around joints and tendons. Synovial sarcoma can occur anywhere throughout the body but often near the knee. Synovial sarcoma is most commonly associated with young adults. Primary synovial sarcomas are most common in the soft tissue near the large joints of the arm and leg but have been documented in most human tissues and organs, including the brain, prostate and heart.
Synovial Cell Sarcoma Symptoms
Synovial sarcoma usually presents with an otherwise asymptomatic swelling or mass, although general symptoms related to malignancies can be reported such as fatigue. A slow-growing painless mass is common and may give the false impression that it is harmless. Some other symptoms are as under;
- Anxious mood
- Depressed mood
- inflammation of the joints
Synovial Cell Sarcoma Survival Rate
The overall five-year survival rate for synovial sarcoma is 36% to 76%. But, each person’s experience is unique and results are hard to predict. The survival rate for synovial sarcoma is lower in cases where the cancer has returned or spread. The 5-year survival rate is 50% and up to 82% in heavily calcified tumors. The 10-year survival rate is 20-30%.
Synovial Cell Sarcoma Prognosis
Prognosis statistics are based on the study of groups of synovial sarcoma patients. These statistics cannot predict the future of an individual patient, but they can be useful in considering the most appropriate treatment and follow-up for a patient. Prognosis in synovial sarcoma patients is influenced by the quality of surgery patients receive and the characteristics of the disease (including tumor size, local invasiveness, histological subtype, presence of metastases, and lymph node involvement). Patients with small tumors that can be completely removed with adequate margins at diagnosis have an excellent prognosis. The risk of developing distant metastases is higher for patients with tumors that are larger than 5cm. Patients with the poorly differentiated subtype are considered to have a worse prognosis than those with other subtypes, and patients with metastases that cannot be removed have a poor prognosis.