what’s the difference between sarcoidosis and sarcoma?

So sarcoma is a type of cancer composed of cells made of bone, muscle and other tissue that can’t stop reproducing and slowly invades any organ causing damage. Sarcoidosis is composed of cells that can’t stop making granulomas which slowly invade any organ causing damage. Huh?!

“As nouns the difference between sarcoma and sarcoidosis is that sarcoma is (oncology) a type of malignant tumor of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue while sarcoidosis is (medicine) a multisystem disorder characterized by small inflammatory nodules. “-wikipedia?

I get to have both-adenosarcoma which I’m told is cured (“you just need a hysterectomy and you’ll be fine!”) and sarcoidosis which is proving to be the bigger monster (I think). With the type of sarcoma that I had, it’s extremely rare. Apparently it hadn’t reached the stage of “sarcomatous overgrowth” yet which could have been deadly. All I needed was surgery which was curative (“unless a cell escaped and then you’re doomed”). No chemo or radiation. Very little follow up necessary (do I trust that? And what about the lesion that turned up on the most recent PET scan done for sarcoidosis lighting up in my pelvis? Should I worry? Nah! “It’s probably nothing”they say. “But let’s biopsy it anyway.” If adenosarcoma returns, you’re basically toast. So I’m choosing to concentrate instead on the other abnormal part of the PET scan which was the  inflammation in my heart muscle, also known as cardiomyopathy or cardiac sarcoid. Which is not a good thing but probably explains the fluid around the heart that won’t go away and the reason why I can only run a 15 minute mile nowadays (on a treadmill!).

So I’m relieved to know what the problem is but not too happy to hear that I’ll have to restart the steroids for at least a year and likely life. Plus other toxic medicines. And I hope that my heart doesn’t stop during my upcoming surgery to repair the hernia that came after the hysterectomy and to find out what that new thing is in my pelvis. Because sudden death from heart block is quite common with cardiac sarcoid. But they don’t want to start me on steroids till after the surgery because I won’t heal properly. But I’m told not to worry because if my heart stopped during surgery they would just shock it to bring me back! No big deal.

So here’s to sarcoma and sarcoidosis and to an interesting future!




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