Key facts:

  • Rare tumours can develop anywhere in the body
  • Tumours can be either cancerous or benign
  • Symptoms vary based on the type of tumour, but typically include pain
  • Treatment for rare tumours include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery

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What are Rare Tumours?

Tumours labelled ‘rare’ are those that affect a very small percentage of the population. They are grouped according to their location in the body:

  • Bone tumours
  • Digestive system tumours
  • Endocrine tumours
  • Soft tissue tumours
  • Vascular tumours

Rare Malignant Tumours in Soft Tissue

Malignant (cancerous) tumours that develop in soft tissue are called sarcomas.

  • Chondrosarcoma is the second most common primary bone cancer. It affects men and women equally and can develop in arm bones, leg bones, or the pelvis.
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs) are sarcomas that originate in cells associated with the nerve sheath or peripheral nerves.

What is the Treatment for Rare Tumours?

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can be valuable tools in controlling many rare tumours. For others, surgical resection is necessary. Patients are placed under general anaesthetic for the procedure. An incision is made, giving the surgeon the ability to view, assess, and access the tumour. The tumour is excised along with a wide margin of tissue around the abnormal cells.

Most patients stay in hospital for a few days to ensure pain is well controlled.