Soft-Tissue Sarcoma

What are soft-tissue sarcomas?

Soft tissue sarcomas develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, or skin tissues. Although soft-tissue sarcomas can develop anywhere in the body they are most common in arms and legs.

Different Types of Soft-Tissue Sarcomas


Type of Tumor

Liposarcoma cancerous tumor of the fat cells
Leiomyosarcoma muscle tumor
Rhabdomyosarcoma muscle tumor
Neurofibrosarcomas nerve tumor
Synovial sarcoma joint tissue tumor
Hemangiopericytoma blood vessel tumor
Hemangioendothelioma blood vessel tumor
Angiosarcoma blood vessel tumor
Kaposi sarcoma blood vessel tumor
Fibromatosis fibrous tumor
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans fibrous tumor
Fibrosarcoma uncertain type tissue tumor
Malignant mesenchymoma uncertain type tissue tumor
Alveolar soft-part sarcoma uncertain type tissue tumor
Epithelioid sarcoma uncertain type tissue tumor
Clear cell sarcoma uncertain type tissue tumor
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor uncertain type tissue tumor
Pleomorphic undifferentiated sarcoma uncertain type tissue tumor
Spindle cell tumor uncertain type tissue tumor

What are the signs and symptoms of soft-tissue sarcomas?

The most common sign of a soft-tissue sarcoma is a painful lump that does not go away. However often times a lump is not cancer. A lump that is getting increasing painful and growing in size is more likely to be cancerous, especially as you get older. Early detection is very important for treating and diagnosing sarcomas so if you have a suspicious lump be proactive and go see your doctor.

What are the causes and risks of soft-tissue sarcomas?

The direct causes of soft-tissue sarcomas are not known however certain factors have been associated with an elevated risk for developing soft-tissue sarcomas. For instance as you get older your risk increases, diabetes and smoking can also increase your risk. Exposure to radiation and certain chemicals can also increase your risk for developing soft-tissue sarcomas. A family history of neurofibromatosis, Li Fraumeni syndrome and retinoblastoma may increase your likelihood for soft-tissue sarcomas. In children a higher birth weight and umbilical hernias have been associated with a higher risk of soft-tissue sarcomas.

How are soft-tissue sarcomas diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose a soft-tissue sarcoma your doctor will use imaging tests, a physical exam, your medical history, and probably a biopsy. Treatments for soft-tissue sarcomas will vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Treatments may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or drug therapy.

Baptist Sarcoma Center

Baptist Cancer Center's Sarcoma Center features one of the few medical teams in the region devoted to soft-tissue sarcomas. Our experts customize your care to deliver the most successful treatment, while focusing on your quality of life. We see more sarcoma patients annually than any other regional cancer center. 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. 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 the region's leading sarcoma research center, we utilize the most advanced techniques, including:

  • New ways to combine therapies, including surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, to be more successful
  • Advanced chemotherapy agents and novel delivery methods that have less impact on the body
  • Limb-sparing surgery that can help preserve arms and legs in many cases
  • Medicines to fight cancer on a molecular level

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