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Tumors of connective tissues are called “sarcomas,” and can be found within fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, and cartilage. Because this term covers a broad range, sarcoma is classified in two separate groups: bone and soft tissue. While both types are rare, nearly 15 percent of all cancer in young children is sarcoma.

Risk Factors

While there is not a direct cause of sarcoma, there are certain risk factors that could contribute to the development of the cancer including:

  • Family history of sarcoma.
  • Bone diseases such as Paget’s.
  • Exposure to radiation, or a weakened system due to prior bouts with cancer


In order to properly test for all types of sarcoma, a variety of imaging tests and biopsies may be performed depending on the location of the suspected sarcoma and the severity of the injury. In addition, diagnosing the type of sarcoma will come first, as this may dictate the type of test ordered.

Types of Sarcoma

Soft Tissue

This is a rare cancer, making up only 1% of all cancers diagnosed. It can occur in the muscles, fat, blood vessels, tendons, fibrous tissues, and tissues around joints.


Bone sarcomas are typically diagnosed in children and are very rare. This can be primary, which develops in the bone, or secondary, which spreads to the bone from another part of the body.


Soft Tissue Sarcoma

  • A lump growing anywhere on your body.
  • Sharp, recurring abdominal pain.
  • Bloody vomit or stool.

Bone Sarcoma

  • Pain (sharp at first, then steady) in the location of the tumor.
  • Swelling in your joints.
  • Limping or a change in gait.
  • Occasional changes in health (fever, weight loss, anemia, etc.)


While your treatment options will be determined by your physician, they often include the following:

  • Surgery: In order to remove the cancer and keep healthy tissue, surgery may be recommended.
  • Radiation: This will shrink the tumor prior to surgery, and reduce the risk of cancer returning.
  • Chemotherapy: This will shrink or kill the cancer using medication. This can be given in pill form or via an IV tube.

Schedule a Consultation

To schedule an appointment or to get a second opinion on your diagnosis, please call the Cancer Center referral line at 1-844-484-3292.

Sarcoma Providers