A growing lump, swelling, tenderness and pain are often the first signs of a possible sarcoma. An uncommon type of tumor, sarcomas are categorized into two broad areas: soft tissue and bone. Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop in the soft or connective tissues, including muscles, tendons, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels, nerves, and tissues surrounding joints. Sarcomas can also develop in bone tissue, causing bone cancer.
Diagnosing Your Disease
If your doctor suspects you have a sarcoma, you may undergo a biopsy of the lump or tumor, imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan, or even a bone scan. Once the cancer has been identified and located, your doctor can create a personalized treatment plan.
At many of our cancer centers, multidisciplinary panels of experts—including radiologists, pathologists, surgeons and oncologists—review complex cancer cases together, in meetings called tumor boards, to combine their collective expertise and craft an approach that best fits your needs. How your sarcoma is treated ultimately depends on the type, location and size of the tumor, as well as whether it has spread to other parts of your body.
Treatments Tailored to You
Surgery to remove the cancer cells is often the first and most frequently used treatment option. Surgical oncologists in the Sutter Health network are experts at using state-of-the-art and minimally invasive techniques to delicately remove cancerous tissue.
Your doctor may also suggest radiation or chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. These therapies may be prescribed alone, together or in addition to surgery. Your care team will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your type of sarcoma.