Adult soft tissue sarcoma is a disease in which cancer cells develop in the soft tissues of the body. The soft tissues are composed of the muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, and tissues around joints. Adult soft tissue sarcomas can form almost anywhere in the body, but generally develop in the arms or legs. They can also be found in the trunk, head and neck area, internal organs, and the area in back of the abdominal cavity.
There are different forms of soft tissue sarcoma. One type that grows in the wall of the stomach, intestines, or rectum is called a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Sarcomas are rare tumors and most cancers are the type of tumors called carcinomas. The cells of each type of sarcoma look different under a microscope.
Symptoms related to soft tissue sarcomas
A sarcoma may appear as a painless lump under the skin, often on an arm or a leg. Abdominal sarcomas may not cause symptoms until they become very large. See the doctor immediately, if you notice any of the symptoms:
These symptoms may not exactly be caused by sarcoma, but they still need medical attention
from a doctor.
Tests and diagnosis of soft tissue sarcomas
If you have certain signs or symptoms that indicate towards a sarcoma, your doctor may do the following tests to diagnose soft tissue sarcoma:
Available treatments for soft tissue sarcomas
Your options for treating soft tissue sarcoma will depend on the size, type and location of your tumor.
- Surgery: Surgery is a common treatment for soft tissue sarcoma. It normally involves removing the cancer and some healthy tissue surrounding it. When arms or legs are affected by soft tissue sarcoma, it may be essential to remove the affected arm or leg. When the cancer spreads to spreads to another body organ, surgery may be performed to remove the other tumor as well.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves killing cancer cells using high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays or protons. Your doctor may recommend radiation therapy to shrink the tumor before surgery to make it easier to remove with surgery.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses anti-cancer medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given in the form of a pill, through a vein or by both methods. Studies have found that some types of soft tissue sarcoma respond better to chemotherapy.
- Targeted Drugs: Targeted drugs interfere with abnormal signals present in sarcoma cells that allow them to grow. Targeted drugs are commonly used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
Keep your friends and family close. It will help you overcome the distressful treatment of soft tissue sarcoma.