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Some cause pain; others don't. They vary widely in how they look as well. If you have pain or if the tumor grows, you should see a doctor. Some conditions, like nodular fasciitis and pigmented villonodular synovitis, are not tumors, but may need similar treatment. It is important to accurately identify the nature of the tumor.

If it is malignant, different and more aggressive treatment may be needed. Imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging MRIs can be used to see soft tissue tumors. MRIs will be done to help pinpoint the location of a tumor if a biopsy is to be done.

A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of tissue is taken to be examined under a microscope. This examination helps determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant. Most soft tissue tumors, fortunately, are made of fat lipomas. They often occur just beneath the skin as a soft, painless mass, which grows slowly over months or years.

These tumors aren't dangerous to the patient. Often they don't need more than watching.

Stages of Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma

If necessary, they can be removed with surgery. Depending on the type of tumor you have, your doctor may or may not recommend surgery. Tumors are removed surgically with the goal of minimizing risk to surrounding normal blood vessels, nerves, muscle or bone. All Rights Reserved. A c 3 non-profit organization. The translations may include errors or change the intended meaning of the text.

Please consult your healthcare provider about any medical information. Translations may not be available for some items, including PDF documents, maps, video captions, and text that appears on photos. Some soft-tissue tumors, such as lipomas and hemangiomas, are benign not cancer.

Others are malignant cancer and are called soft tissue sarcomas. There are more than 30 types of sarcoma, making each extremely rare. Sarcomas are classified into groups that have similar types of cancer cells and symptoms. They usually are named for the type of tissue where they start. Sarcomas within a classification often are treated the same way.

Anything that increases your chance of getting cancer is a risk factor. For sarcoma, risk factors include:. Not everyone with risk factors gets sarcoma. Some cases of soft tissue sarcoma can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Signs of sarcoma vary from person to person. Many times sarcoma does not have symptoms in the early stages. Only about half of soft-tissue sarcomas are found in the early stages before they spread.

These symptoms do not always mean you have sarcoma. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may also signal other health problems. In fact, we are one of the few centers in the world with specialized doctors who focus on diagnosing only sarcomas. We have the latest methods and technology to be sure you get the most accurate diagnosis possible. This can make a difference in the success of your treatment. Since sarcomas are complex and can develop in so many places in the body, they can be difficult to diagnose.

Getting the wrong diagnosis may actually be harmful and make therapy have less chance for success. A biopsy that is not done correctly can cause the cancer to spread and make your treatment more difficult. It is best for the surgeon who does the biopsy to also remove the tumor. If at all possible, your first biopsy should be at the cancer center where you will receive treatment.

Try to go to a cancer center that sees a large number of sarcoma patients and has a specialized sarcoma team that includes specialized pathologists. If you have symptoms that may signal sarcoma, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health and your family medical history. We welcome the opportunity to provide second opinions sarcomas. The only way to be certain a tumor is sarcoma is a biopsy removing a small number of cells to examine under a microscope. Imaging tests may be used before or after biopsy to determine the location and extent of the tumor.

CT computed tomography scans may be used to help guide the needle. Doctors trained to read these types of biopsies then review the small numbers of cells that are drawn into the needle. If the test shows that the tumor may be a sarcoma, another type of biopsy probably will be done to remove a larger piece of tissue. If you are diagnosed with sarcoma, your doctor will determine the stage or extent of the disease. In soft tissue sarcomas, an additional factor, called grade G , is part of tumor stage. The grade is based on how the sarcoma cells look under the microscope.

The official staging system divides sarcomas into three grades 1 to 3. The grade of a sarcoma helps predict how rapidly it will grow and spread, as well as your outlook for successful treatment prognosis. The grade is part of what is used to determine the stage of a sarcoma. The grade of a sarcoma is based on the way the cancer looks under the microscope. In grading a cancer, the pathologist considers three factors:. These factors are scored, and then the scores are added together to determine the grade of the tumor.

The sarcomas with cells looking more normal and with fewer cells dividing are generally placed in a low-grade category. Low-grade tumors are slow growing, slower to spread and often have a better outlook prognosis than higher-grade tumors. The grade is usually based on the way the cells look and how many are dividing, but certain types of sarcoma are automatically given higher scores for differentiation. This affects the overall score so much that they are never considered to be low grade. Examples of these include synovial sarcoma and embryonal sarcoma.

The scores for each factor are added up to determine the grade for the cancer. Higher-grade cancers tend to grow and spread faster than lower-grade cancers. To assign a stage, information about the tumor, its grade, lymph nodes, and metastasis is combined by a process called stage grouping. The stage is useful in selecting treatment, but other factors, like where the sarcoma is located, also impact treatment planning and outlook. Staging is a way of determining how much disease is in the body and where it has spread.

This information is important because it helps your doctor determine the best type of treatment for you and the outlook for your recovery prognosis. Once the staging classification is determined, the stage stays the same even if treatment is successful or the cancer spreads. Your sarcoma treatment is customized specifically for you by one of the worlds' foremost teams of experts.

What Is a Soft Tissue Sarcoma?

Because sarcoma is rare, most oncologists treat few if any patients in their careers. Statistics show that sarcoma patients have better outcomes when they are treated at large comprehensive cancer centers where specialized oncologists have more experience with the disease. Our surgeons are among the most skilled in the world in surgery for sarcoma.

They use the latest techniques, including limb-sparing surgeries, which we helped pioneer.

  1. Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version - National Cancer Institute!
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  4. Soft Tissue Masses: Diagnosis and Surgery for Benign and Cancerous Tumors (Sarcoma).
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Usually patients are able to avoid the loss of an arm or leg. We're making great strides in treating sarcomas. We helped developed concurrent chemo and radiation regimens to improve chance of successful treatment in certain types of sarcoma. Sarcomas usually are treated with a combination of therapies that may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. If you are diagnosed with sarcoma, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including:. Your treatment for sarcoma will be customized to your particular needs. It may include one or more of the following.

They among the few surgeons in the world who specialize in sarcoma treatment, and they use the least-invasive and most-advanced techniques.


Surgery is the main treatment for soft-tissue sarcomas. The surgeon removes the tumor, as well as a margin of healthy tissue around it to take out as many cancer cells as possible. You may receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy before or after the surgery. Because of a special type of surgery called limb-sparing surgery, which often is followed with radiation therapy, most patients do not have to have arms or legs removed to treat sarcoma. Chemotherapy may be used as the main treatment for sarcoma or with surgery or radiation.

A combination of two or more chemotherapy drugs may be used. Sometimes limb profusion, a special way to give a more focused dose of chemotherapy may be used. Radiation therapy usually is not used as the main treatment for sarcoma, but it may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells. If you cannot have surgery, you may receive radiation therapy to help with pain and other symptoms.

For some patients, this therapy results in better cancer control with less impact on the body. MD Anderson's Sarcoma Center features one of the few medical teams in the world devoted to soft-tissue sarcomas. Our experts customize your care to deliver the most successful treatment, while focusing on your quality of life.

Why choose MD Anderson for soft tissue sarcoma care?

We see more sarcoma patients in a day than many cancer centers do in a year. This gives us a level of expertise and experience that can make a difference in your outcome. Diagnosis of sarcomas can be challenging, but accurate diagnosis is essential to successful treatment.

  • Soft-tissue sarcoma - Wikipedia.
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  • Soft tissue tumors: an overview;
  • Non-cancerous soft tissue tumours.
  • Types of soft tissue sarcoma.
  • Non-cancerous soft tissue tumours - Canadian Cancer Society;
  • In fact, having an inaccurate or unsuccessful biopsy can be harmful. Our pathologists are dedicated to sarcoma, and they use the latest, most-sophisticated tests to pinpoint the type and extent of the cancer. Using a team approach that brings together specialists from many areas, we offer everything you need for diagnosis and treatment in one location.

    Our treatments draw upon the latest technology to save limbs, as well as function and appearance. As one of the world's leading sarcoma research centers, we helped pioneer many advancements used around the world, including:. Every MD Anderson surgeon and oncologist we met was great. We felt comfortable and confident that we were in good hands both before and after surgery. BY Brittany Cordeiro. But six months later, the tumor had grown to the size of an apple. So, she had surgery on Nov. Less than a year later, doctors discovered three golf-ball sized tumors in different spots on the right side of her body.

    Alicia had surgery again, followed by 25 days of radiation therapy. When she returned to New Hampshire for Christmas break, her doctor started her on the drugs Sulindac and Tamoxifen for one month. Frustrated, she returned to Texas, where she met another young cancer patient. He told her to go to MD Anderson.