"You are never too young...or too old."
The information you are reading could life save your life or the life of a loved one.
Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer and accounts for less than 2% of all malignancies in the U.S. Unfortunately, because it is not widely known, it is often not detected early. As with any form of cancer, early detection is the key to survival. As a spokesperson for the Red Flags of Sarcoma Campaign, my role is personal as well as professional. It started with my own experience with sarcoma that began in 2003.
Before my diagnosis, I had NEVER heard of sarcoma. In the days before my biopsy, I even joked with friends and family that I would be the first recorded case of wrist cancer. Little did I know that the soft, non-painful lump on the inside of my left wrist—that I had been trying to ignore for almost two months—would turn out to be a 6 inch mass, beginning inside my hand, filling my wrist and extending into my forearm. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is the most common form of soft-tissue sarcoma, but it was unknown to me. My successful treatment included the amputation of my dominant left hand and forearm. Today, 9 years later, I am still cancer free and grateful to be alive.
My gratitude extends not only to skillful medical care, delivered with remarkable competence; it also includes a dear friend whose persuasive, insistent voice told me to seek a professional answer to the question, “What do you think this lump on my wrist is?”. She told me, in no uncertain terms, to go see a doctor. I knew something was wrong and was asking questions. Finding the answers to those questions saved my life.
Knowledge is power. The Red Flags of Sarcoma Campaign educates the public on the symptoms of sarcoma, with the goal of promoting early detection and ultimately saving lives. Please join me in this effort.
Do these few easy things:
- Become familiar with sarcoma.
- Order copies of our Red Flags brochure and share it with family and friends.
- Pay attention to your body.
- Seek a medical evaluation if any symptoms persist.
- Spread the word.
- Share the Red Flags Brochure with your healthcare professional.
With your help, sarcoma will become a cancer people know and recognize. It will hopefully still be rare, but its dangerous symptoms will no longer go undetected. Not all lumps, bumps and bruises will lead to a sarcoma diagnosis, but with knowledge and awareness, lives will be saved.
Ruth Bachman, Sarcoma Survivor
An official spokesperson for the Red Flags of Sarcoma Campaign