Soft tissue sarcoma

Sarcomas are rare cancers that can affect any part of the body. Soft tissue sarcomas account for the majority of sarcoma diagnoses

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Soft tissue sarcomas can originate in any part of the body. They develop in the connective or supporting tissue including fatty tissue, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and any soft tissues which surround organs in the body. They can also originate in the skin, stomach, small bowel, womb or, rarely, the head and neck.

At HCA UK we work with expert multidisciplinary teams and have partnered with two of the UK's most recognised specialist sarcoma centres at University College London Hospitals and The Christie in Manchester.

Need to know

Symptoms of soft tissue sarcomas will differ depending on where in the body they are affecting. For example, a soft tissue sarcoma in the lung may cause a cough and breathlessness, while a soft tissue sarcoma in the abdomen may cause abdominal pain and abnormal bowel movements or bloody vomit. A soft tissue sarcoma in the womb may cause bleeding from the vagina or pain in the lower abdomen. Usually soft tissue sarcomas do not cause symptoms until they are large and are pressing on a nerve, muscle or organ within the body.

Things to look out for include:

  • any lump that is increasing in size
  • any lump that is sensitive or painful
  • any lump that has returned after being removed by surgery
  • any lump that is deep within the body (not just beneath the skin)

These symptoms are not true for all sarcomas and you may experience other symptoms. These will depend on where in the body sarcoma has developed.

We offer a number of investigations and tests to confirm a diagnosis of sarcoma. Your consultant will explain the most appropriate tests considering your symptoms and suspected type of cancer. These tests may include:

  • Scans such as X-ray, Ultrasound, CT, MRI and PET CT
  • Removing a tissue sample (biopsy)

If you are diagnosed with sarcoma you will have access to specialist multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) at recognised specialist sarcoma centres, led by internationally renowned sarcoma specialists, providing expert treatment and care. Not all lumps are sarcomas and these symptoms may be related to a number of non-cancerous conditions. However, if you experience any of these symptoms it is important to see your GP so that a referral and diagnosis can be made as quickly as possible.

Your consultant will talk you through your diagnosis and treatment options in detail, helping you to make an informed decision about your care. Depending on your diagnosis, treatment options may include

  • surgery
  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy

At HCA UK you will be looked after by a multidisciplinary team, including expert consultants, Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and supportive therapists including psychologists who can help you with your emotional wellbeing.

Our Soft tissue sarcoma locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
University College Hospital Private Care

University College Hospital Private Care

Grafton Way Building, 1 Grafton Way WC1E 6AG London
Private Care at Guy's

Private Care at Guy's

London Bridge Hospital Private Care at Guy's SE1 9RT London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London
The Christie Private Care

The Christie Private Care

Wilmslow Road M20 4BX Manchester

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.