What is Fibrosarcoma?

In this blog, we’ll be providing an overview of a malignant bone tumor we treat at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics called Fibrosarcoma. While it shares many traits with other bone tumors we’ve discussed, it is unique in that it impacts adults from 30-55 as well as infants under the age of two, but few individuals outside of that bracket. It develops along the long bones of the body, in the legs and arms, and less frequently around the neck and base of the skull.

Fibrosarcoma is extremely rare, even within the category of sarcomas. Sarcomas as a category make up roughly 1% of cancer diagnoses among adults in the United States. Fibrosarcoma makes up roughly 5% of that subset. This means, among adults, only .05% of cancer diagnoses are fibrosarcoma. Due to this rarity, little is known about fibrosarcoma’s origin, but diagnosis often occurs quickly and roughly 60% of individuals with fibrosarcoma survive their cancer for 5 years or more following diagnosis.

Fibrosarcoma

Fibrosarcoma is a malignant bone tumor found most often in or along the long bones of the body, and less often in or along the bones of the neck and head. Like the majority of sarcomas we discuss, fibrosarcoma is exceedingly rare, and for that reason, large-scale research and trials have not been conducted. Compared to other sarcomas, fibrosarcoma is fairly fast-growing meaning diagnosis often occurs shortly after the sarcoma comes into existence.

 

What are the Causes of Fibrosarcoma?

Unfortunately, it is not fully known what causes fibrosarcoma but it is not believed to be significantly genetic in origin. At present, there is no screening test or consensus list of risk factors for fibrosarcoma.

Malignant sarcomas themselves are already an exceptionally rare form of cancer, but within this category, fibrosarcoma only makes up 5% of diagnoses. This rarity directly impacts the research into its cause.

Among instances of secondary fibrosarcoma, patients have frequently reported the sarcoma occurring near areas of previous radiation treatment.

 

Who is Most Affected by Fibrosarcoma?

Like many sarcomas, fibrosarcoma impacts males slightly more often than females, but the reasons for this disparity are unknown. Among adults, the most common age range for fibrosarcoma is roughly 30-55 years of age, with frequency dropping fairly significantly outside of that bracket. Fibrosarcoma is not known to impact one racial group more often than another.

In addition to adults from 30-55, fibrosarcoma is unique in that it also impacts infants. In the case of infants, fibrosarcoma is very often congenital. However, among non-congenital cases, infants most often present fibrosarcoma within their first two years of life.

What are the Symptoms of Fibrosarcoma?

The symptoms of fibrosarcoma are not a marked departure from the fairly standard symptom set of malignant bone tumors. Especially because it primarily impacts long bones, those with fibrosarcoma are likely to experience loss of strength and a reduction in mobility around the affected area. The impacted bones will often become weaker and much more susceptible to fracture in low-leverage situations.

Around the impacted area, pain and swelling are common. Surface tumors are not uncommon with fibrosarcoma, especially in the arms and legs. It is worth noting that those suffering from fibrosarcoma may not feel sick in the traditional sense, or have the feeling of fatigue or weight loss common among other cancers.

 

How is Fibrosarcoma Treated?

The treatment strategy for Fibrosarcoma is also largely dependent on the location of the tumor. In the arms and legs, where fibrosarcoma is most common, surgical resection following a biopsy is the most common and effective treatment route. When the sarcoma presents itself around the neck and head, a different course of action is often taken. There is not a significant track record for the use of chemotherapy in treating fibrosarcoma.


We hope this overview of Fibrosarcoma was insightful and enlightening. The team at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics places a high value on informing our audience and improving the medical literacy of all we impact.

As always, the content of a blog post is no substitute for a legitimate medical diagnosis. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from a bone or soft tissue tumor, prioritize an appointment with a qualified medical professional at your earliest availability.