What’s This Lump? How Early Detection of Soft-Tissue Sarcomas Improve Prognosis

Soft-tissue sarcomas are malignant (cancerous) tumors that begin in the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures. Though they most commonly occur in the arm or leg, they can develop anywhere throughout the body. Treatment options vary widely and depend on the stage, grade, type and location of the tumor.

Most people diagnosed with a soft-tissue sarcoma can be cured by surgery as long as the tumor is low-grade and has not spread to other parts of the body.

How early detection of soft-tissue sarcomas improves prognosis

If you have a family history of soft-tissue sarcomas or have had other types of cancer when you were younger, it’s important to talk to your doctor about genetic testing. The Invitae Sarcoma Panel analyzes genes that are predisposed to the development of sarcomas and may help doctors detect and treat the disease while it is still in its early stage.

For people without a family history of sarcoma or other sarcoma risk factors, the best approach to early detection is to talk to your doctor if you notice any unexplained lumps, growths or other symptoms that may be caused by soft-tissue sarcoma.

Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are extremely important for the successful treatment of soft-tissue sarcoma as they allow for more treatment options.

Common signs and symptoms of soft-tissue sarcomas

As with many types of cancer, soft-tissue sarcoma symptoms may only appear at a more advanced stage of the disease, or they may not appear at all. Signs and symptoms of soft-tissue sarcomas may also vary depending on the type of sarcoma and its location. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Lump or mass
    Finding an unusual lump or mass is the most common sign of soft-tissue sarcoma and it may be accompanied by pain or discomfort, especially if it’s pushing against a nerve or muscle.
  • Swelling
    Uncomfortable swelling is another sign of soft-tissue sarcoma, particularly when it is located in the arms and legs.
  • Limited mobility

In some cases, a soft-tissue sarcoma can restrict movement of the hip, knee, shoulder or hands.

  • Skin lesions
    Commonly appear when a soft-tissue sarcoma breaks through the skin.

If you’d like to learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatment options available for soft-tissue sarcoma, please contact the skilled doctors at Alpha Med Physicians Group. Call 708-342-1900.