Sarcomas are rare and complex tumours of the bones and soft tissues. Soft tissue sarcoma develops in the fat, muscle, nerves, deep skin tissues and blood vessels.
Most sarcomas arise with no identifiable cause, but there are some risk factors, including prior radiotherapy, some genetic syndromes and chemical exposure.
The first symptom of a soft tissue sarcoma is usually a lump, and one which grows rapidly is a cause for concern.
Ultrasound is often the first imaging modality, and subsequently an MRI scan is likely to be required.
The diagnosis of a sarcoma is made with a biopsy of the suspicious growth – ideally performed by a specialist who will be performing the subsequent surgery to remove the tumour.