Causes of soft tissue sarcomas

Cancer occurs when cells multiply uncontrollably, forming growths calledtumours.

In the vast majority of soft tissue sarcomas it's unclear what causes this to happen, but there are a number ofthings known to increase the risk, including:

  • age soft tissue sarcomas can occur at any age, including in children, but are more common in middle-aged or elderly people and your risk increases as you get older
  • certain genetic conditions some genetic conditions, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and retinoblastoma , are associated with an increased risk of soft tissue sarcomas
  • previous radiotherapy some people who have previously had radiotherapy for another type of cancer go on to develop a soft tissue sarcoma, oftenmany years later
  • exposure to certain chemicals exposure to some chemicals, including vinyl chloride, dioxins and phenoxyacetic herbicides, has been associated with increased rates of soft tissue sarcomas

Kaposi's sarcoma is a very rare sarcoma caused by a virus known as the human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) infecting someone with a weakened immune system (such as people with HIV ).

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018