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Soft tissue Sarcomas

Most likely to affect: The limbs - most likely around the knee, the chest, abdomen and pelvis - and head and neck

Common types: Rhabdomyosarcomas, synovial sarcomas & fibrosarcomas

Most common symptom: A painless lump or swelling

Causes: Unknown

Tests: Biopsies, x-rays, scans, blood tests

Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery

Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers of our supportive tissue which includes muscles, cartilage, fat cells and blood vessels. The areas of the body that they usually affect are the legs and arms, the chest, pelvis and the head and neck area. There are lots of different types but the ones that commonly affect young people are rhabdomyosarcomas, synovial sarcomas & fibrosarcomas. The first symptom is usually a painless lump or swelling. The cause is unknown. The tests which diagnose it are biopsy, x-rays, scans and blood tests. The treatment can be chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery and, depending on the type and what is involved a combination of treatments are often given.