Genetic syndromes: Certain inherited conditions increase a person's risk of developing soft tissue sarcomas.
Neurofibromatosis: Neurofibromatosis is also known as von Recklinghausen disease. It is caused mainly due to a gene defect called NF1. Around 5% of people with neurofibromatosis are expected to develop a malignant tumor in a neurofibroma.
Gardner syndrome: Gardner syndrome is a disorder of the defects in the APC gene. People with Gardner syndrome are at a higher risk of getting cancer and musculoaponeurotic fibromatosis.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome is caused due to defects of the TP53 gene. People with this syndrome are prone to developing cancer.
Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer caused by defects in the RB1 gene. People with these gene defects have higher risk of developing cancer.
Werner syndrome occurs due to defects in the RECQL2 gene. Children with this syndrome have an increased risk of cancer, including soft tissue sarcomas.
X-ray : A regular x-ray of the area under suspicion is done initially to examine spread of sarcoma to the lungs
Computed tomography scans: The CT scan is an x-ray method that produces comprehensive, cross-sectional pictures of your body. You will get multiple images of your body that can be studied for deep analysis
Magnetic resonance imaging scans: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans take the help of radio waves and strong magnets to take images of the body. The radio wave energy is absorbed and released in a pattern formed by the tissue type of certain diseases. The pattern of radio waves is translated by a computer to get a detailed image of parts of the body
Positron emission tomography scan: In PET test, radioactive glucose is injected into the patient to check for cancer cells. The cancer cells tend to use glucose at a higher rate and hence a scanner can easily spot the radioactive deposits.
Surgery remains the primary form of treatment for soft tissue sarcoma. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor and at least one to 2 centimeters of the surrounding tissue. While amputation of an arm or leg was once a standard treatment for soft tissue sarcomas found in the limbs, today amputations are performed in only about 5 percent of cases.
In addition, new reconstructive techniques that permit the repair of nerves and blood vessels and the transfer of muscle and soft tissue have allowed extensive operations to be performed with the knowledge that function can be preserved. These techniques, which have developed over the last three decades, include the use of nerve grafts to restore function and avoid amputation.
Even though small sarcomas are usually treated with surgery alone, some sarcomas are larger than five centimeters in size and they can be handled only with a combination of surgery and radiation. Radiation therapy is of two types:
In external-beam radiation therapy, the radiation is given to the affected area from outside the body. This therapy usually is done over the course of seven to eight weeks, with five days a week for treatments.
This method involves giving of radiation locally. It can be administered in different ways to treat soft tissue sarcoma.
Chemotherapy works by stopping the growth of cancer cells by either killing it or not allowing it to divide further. Systemic chemotherapy is given through the bloodstream so that it reaches every cancer cell throughout the body. A chemotherapy schedule consists of a particular number of cycles given over a fixed time.
The goal of Chemotherapy in sarcoma is to destroy cancer cells that get left after surgery.