Soft Tissue Sarcomas


3,000 people a year are diagnosed with sarcoma in the UK; of these, soft tissue sarcomas are rare. Soft tissue sarcomas can originate in fat, muscles, blood vessels and in any soft tissues which surround organs within the body. They can also originate in certain organs like the skin, stomach, small bowel, womb or, more rarely, the head and neck. Soft tissue sarcomas are most common in people over 30 years of age.

There are many types of soft tissue sarcomas. Common types include:

  • Fibrosarcomas
  • Myxofibrosarcomas
  • Desmoidtumours
  • Liposarcomas
  • Synovial sarcomas
  • Rhabdomyosarcomas
  • Leiomyosarcomas
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNST)
  • Angiosarcomas
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST)
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS)
  • Ewing’s tumours

Following diagnosis your doctor can discuss relevant treatment options with you and answer any questions.

Things to look out for

General symptoms include but are not limited to any lump that:

  • Is sensitive or painful
  • Returned after being removed by surgery
  • Is increasing in size
  • Is deep within the body and/or is not just beneath the skin

You may experience other symptoms, however these will depend on where in the body the sarcoma has developed. If you have any concerns you can discuss this with your doctor.

These symptoms can be related to other medical conditions but, due to the nature of soft tissue sarcoma, it is important you speak to your doctor/consultant if you experience any of these symptoms.