Difference between Sarcoma and Carcinoma

Key Difference: Sarcoma and Carcinoma are both types of cancers or malignant tumors. Sarcomas grow in the connective tissues and bones, whereas Carcinoma starts on the surface or lining of a body organ. They both grow and spread in different manner.

Sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of malignant tumors which arises in soft tissue and bones. They are generally known by the name indicating the type of tissue, cell or structure involved.  Like Osteosarcoma is a cancer of the bone.

The word sarcoma has been derived from a Greek word sarcoma meaning fleshy tumor. These tumors are uncommon cancer. It generally occurs to the people belonging to the age group of 30 to 60 years. This group of tumors includes bone sarcomas, soft tissue sarcomas, Ewing’s sarcomas, etc. In precise, they are originated from mesodermal tissues like muscle, bone, vascular and fibrous tissues.

Cancers that arise from the epithelial tissues are considered to be the Carcinomas. These tumors occur from mesenchymal tissue like bone, muscle, connective tissue, etc. They are also named after the tissue of origin. In simple language, it occurs in cells which make up the skin or the tissue lining organs like liver or kidneys.

Therefore, primarily they differ in the context of cells of origin. Both are malignant but sarcoma is comparatively rare than Carcinoma. Carcinoma tends to strike people who are usually over fifty years, whereas Sarcoma generally occurs to people who are usually below fifty. Sarcoma grows at a slower rate than Carcinoma. Sarcomas grow into a ball like structure and push the adjacent structures like nerves and veins away from it. They generally spread to the lungs. On the other hand, Carcinomas grow in a filtrative manner. They easily invade nerves, blood vessels and muscles next to it.

Comparison between Sarcoma and Carcinoma:





Cancers that grow in soft connective or supportive tissues

Cancers that grows in the epithelial tissue


Osteosarcoma (bone) and chondrosarcoma (cartilage)

Adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, anaplastic


Striking Age Group

Generally, below fifty

Generally, above fifty

Rate of growth







Early by blood

Early by lymphatics


More worse

Less worse

Blood Supply

Less Rich

Image Courtesy: healthyoncare.com, medindia.net

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