Sarcoma: Adult Soft Tissue Cancer

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Can soft tissue sarcomas be found early?

People who have a strong family history of sarcomas or who have had other cancers when they were young , might wish to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of genetic testing with their doctor. The test results should always be explained by a genetic counselor or a specially trained doctor who can interpret the results and advise high-risk patients about early cancer detection.

Families with a history of certain inherited conditions (see the section, “What are the risk factors for soft tissue sarcomas?”) caused by mutated tumor suppressor genes have an increased risk of developing soft tissue sarcomas. The mutated genes can be detected by genetic testing, so family members should discuss this option with their doctors. They should let their doctor know about any lumps or growths right away.

No screening tests and exams are recommended for people who have no family history of sarcoma or other sarcoma risk factors. For these people, the best approach to early detection is to tell their health care professional about any unexplained lumps or growths or other symptoms that may be caused by a soft tissue sarcoma.


Last Medical Review: 10/21/2013
Last Revised: 02/06/2014