About Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Young adults experience the lowest incidence of soft tissue sarcomas, but occurrence steadily increases until the age of 50. At ages greater 50 years and above, incidence of soft tissue sarcomas increases much more dramatically. Malignant bone tumors generally have a stable rate of incidence across all ages.
A soft tissue sarcoma is a cancer that grows from one of the “soft tissues” in the body. The soft tissues in the body include the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and fat.
A soft tissue sarcoma happens when normal cells in a soft tissue change into abnormal cells and grow out of control. There are many types of soft tissue sarcomas. The type depends on the kind of soft tissue the cancer grows from.
Soft tissue sarcomas are more common in adults than in children. They can grow anywhere in the body, but they happen most often in the arms or legs. They can also grow in the belly, or on the belly or chest wall.
The most common symptom is a lump that grows slowly over weeks to months. The lump doesn’t usually cause pain. Having a lump doesn’t always mean you have a soft tissue sarcoma. But if you have a lump that doesn’t go away, tell a doctor or nurse.
Other symptoms of a soft tissue sarcoma depend on where the cancer is in your body. For example, a soft tissue sarcoma in the belly can cause belly pain, bloody bowel movements, or make you feel full after eating only a small amount of food.
Imaging test – this study can create pictures of the inside of the body this helps doctors to differentiate images and be able to observe if there is any abnormalities, including an X-ray, MRI scan, or CT scan.
Biopsy – During a biopsy, your doctor will take a small sample of tissue from the lump. Then another doctor will look at the sample under a microscope to see if there are any mutations to the cell.
- Surgery – Doctors can practice surgery to remove the soft tissue sarcoma, although this is not always an option.
- Radiation therapy – Radiation kills cancer cells and is often use to shrink tumor prior to surgery.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the medical term for medicines that kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.
- Other medicines – These include medicines called “targeted therapies” that work only for cancers that have certain characteristics. Your doctor might do tests to see if your soft tissue sarcoma might respond to these types of medicines.