Soft Tissue Sarcoma is a type of cancer that rarely occurs in soft tissues connecting two body structures, supporting them, and are present around them, such as blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves, fat, and tissue of your joints.
There are more than 50 subtypes of Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Each subtype affects a person according to their age. Some cancers are more common in adults and some in children but, each subtype is hard to diagnose.
Soft Tissue Cancer can occur in any part of the human body, but it mostly occurs in the tissues of the stomach, arms, and legs. This cancer is usually treated by removing that tissue through surgery, but radiation and chemotherapy may also be advised, depending on the type, location, and cancer stage.
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What are the Causes of Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
The type of Soft Tissue Sarcoma will depend on the type of cell whose gene mutation has taken place. For example, liposarcoma is caused by fat cell mutation, whereas angiosarcoma is caused by blood vessels.
What are the Symptoms of Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
- ● Swelling or knot in the affected area
- ● Pain in the affected area (when tumors create pressure on muscles or nerves).
When to See a Doctor?
- ● If the swelling or size of the knot increases or continues
- ● If the knot recurred after surgery
- ● If the lump is positioned between the muscles
What are the types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
- ● Epithelioid sarcoma
- ● Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
- ● A gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
- ● Myxofibrosarcoma
- ● Kaposi’s sarcoma
- ● Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
- ● Leiomyosarcoma
- ● Liposarcoma
- ● Angiosarcoma
- ● Undifferentiated (Pleomorphic sarcoma)
- ● Rhabdomyosarcoma
- ● Synovial sarcoma
- ● Solitary fibrous tumor
How is Soft Tissue Sarcoma Diagnosed?
- ● Imaging test: Some imaging tests that can diagnose Soft Tissue sarcoma include:
- ● Computerized tomography scans
- ● Positron emission tomography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- ● X-rays
- ● Biopsy: Your doctor can take a sample of the tumor and test it in a lab. There are two types of biopsies that include:
- ● Core needle biopsy: In this biopsy, a small piece of the tumor is taken and examined. The doctor may take samples from each part of the affected tissue.
- ● Surgical biopsy: In this, the doctor performs surgery to remove a large part of the tumor. If the tumor size is small, it can be removed completely.
After taking this sample, pathologists examine it. Causes and types of cancer are detected, and it is also known whether the cancer is aggressive or not.
How is Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treated?
- ● Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer. In this, the tumor, along with some healthy tissue surrounding the tumor, is also removed. That reduces the chances of the cancer growing and spreading to other organs.
- ● Radiation therapy: It is used to treat cancer with high-energy beams. Radiation therapy is used to treat soft tissue sarcoma as follows:
- ● Before surgery: The tumor is contracted with the help of radiation to make it easily removable.
- ● During surgery: High amounts of radiation are released into the affected tissue without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.
- ● After surgery: If some cancer cells remain after surgery, they are destroyed with radiation therapy.
- ● Chemotherapy: It is a type of cancer treatment with the help of drugs. The drugs may be oral or through injection. Chemotherapy reacts well in some types of soft tissue sarcoma, such as rhabdomyosarcoma.
What are the Risk Associated with Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatments?
- ● Inherited syndrome: Soft tissue sarcoma can reach you through the genes of your parents.
- ● Exposure to chemicals: Exposure to chemicals such as herbicides, arsenic, and dioxin can cause soft tissue sarcoma.
- ● Radiation exposure: If you ever undergo radiation therapy, you are at greater risk of developing soft tissue sarcoma.