Soft-tissue sarcoma is a disease in which cancer cells form in the soft tissues of the body in the head, neck, arms, legs, trunk, and abdomen.


The early signs and symptoms of sarcoma may appear as a painless lump under the skin, often on an arm or a leg. Sarcomas that begin in the abdomen may not cause signs or symptoms until they get very big. As the sarcoma grows bigger and presses on nearby organs, nerves, muscles, or blood vessels, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Trouble breathing

Other conditions may cause the same signs and symptoms.  Check with your doctor if you have any of these problems.


In addition to all major cancer screening and diagnosis methods, we also offer these techniques when testing for sarcoma:

  • Immunohistochemistry – A test that uses antibodies to check for certain antigens in a sample of tissue to tell the difference between different types of cancer
  • Light and Electron Microscopy – A laboratory test in which cells in a tissue sample are viewed under regular and high-powered microscopes to look for certain changes in the cells
  • Cytogenetic Analysis – A laboratory test in which cells in a sample of tissue are viewed under a microscope to look for certain changes in the chromosomes.
  • Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) – A laboratory test used to look at genes or chromosomes in cells and tissues
  • Flow Cytometry – A laboratory test that measures the number of cells in a sample, the percentage of live cells in a sample, and certain characteristics of cells, such as their size and shape
  • Chest X-ray – An x-ray is a type of energy beam that goes through the body and is captured by structures within the body, producing an image
  • Blood Chemistry Studies – Blood is drawn and checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) – Blood is drawn and sent to the laboratory and the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are counted.
  • Position Emission Tomography (PET Scan) – A procedure to find malignant tumor cells in the body


Surgery is the most common treatment for sarcoma. Radiation and chemotherapy are also treatment options.

Your care team will work with you to determine your exact course of treatment. Learn more about treatment options.