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


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 sarcoma icon plus

    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.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    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.

  • Treatment options icon plus

    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 consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex cancer surgery to investigations, diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional cancer care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Contact our experienced cancer team

Any questions about our cancer services or treatment? We're happy to advise you or help you book an appointment in London, Birmingham or Manchester with a cancer specialist consultant.

Call us on 

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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