West Coast Eagles players wore odd pink and teal socks at training today to shine a light on a little-known cancer that occurs across all ages groups.
Poor outcomes from sarcoma are often the result of inaction when symptoms first occur. Additionally, there have been issues of incorrect assessment by GP’s due to the obscurity of the disease. Most people never hear of sarcoma until they or someone close to them has been diagnosed with sarcoma.
This means that the quickest and easiest way to reduce the proportion of poor outcomes is to create a better awareness of the cancer and its symptoms – some of which are quite obvious.
Sarcoma occurs across all age groups and sexes and is particularly prevalent in active young people.
Eagles players Chris Masten and Dom Sheed became aware of sarcoma when they had different friends and family who were recently diagnosed. Up until that time, like most people, neither had heard of sarcoma. They hope that by raising the profile of sarcoma, more people will know what to do when symptoms arise and therefore save lives as a result.
Some of the more obvious symptoms of sarcoma are unusual lumps, bumps or aches that tend to hang around and also pain when resting or sleeping. Anyone experiencing these symptoms is urged to discuss them with a GP in the context of explicitly making sure it is not a sarcoma. A State Sarcoma Service has been established to provide expert diagnosis and treatment.
This initiative by the Eagles is part of a wider football community effort with participation by West Perth, Claremont and Subiaco football districts and the WA State 16’s team.
Sock it to Sarcoma! are a Perth based not-for-profit organisation funding medical research and awareness campaigns for sarcoma. Their website is sockittosarcoma.org.au.
WA Sarcoma Awareness Week runs from June 18-24 and a number of events will be held including a scientific symposium, shopping center displays and a bike ride.
Optus Stadium, the Bell Tower, the Old Mill in South Perth, Trafalgar Bridge in East Perth and Mandurah Bridge will all be lit in pink and teal at various stages during the week to promote WA Sarcoma Awareness Week.