Sarcoma develops from tissues like muscle or bone tissues. There are two primary types of sarcoma:
We are going to focus on soft tissue sarcoma in this section.
A sarcoma may appear as a painless lump under the skin, often on an arm or a leg. Sarcomas that begin in the abdomen may not cause symptoms until they become very large. As the sarcoma grows larger and presses on nearby organs, nerves, muscles, or blood vessels, symptoms may include pain or trouble breathing.
If a soft tissue sarcoma is suspected, a biopsy will be done. The type of biopsy will be based on the size and location of the tumor. There are three types of biopsies commonly used. Your physician will choose the best one for you:
The following tests may be done on the tissue that was removed:
Divided into Stages IA and IB:
Divided into Stages IIA and IIB:
The tumor is either:
The tumor is any grade, any size, and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lungs.
For each stage of soft tissue sarcoma, there are different treatment options available. Some of the options that may be offered by your doctor are as follows:
If cancer is found in the head, neck, abdomen, or chest, treatment may include the following:
Adult soft tissue sarcoma treatments include:
Adult soft tissue sarcoma that involves lymph nodes may include the following treatments:
Treatment of stage IV adult soft tissue sarcoma that involves internal organs of the body may include the following:
Treatment for recurring sarcoma may be somewhat different and will be guided by your cancer treatment team of physicians and nurses.
Visit the National Cancer Institute where you can find more information on bone and soft tissue sarcomas. And be sure to ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.