Diagnosing soft tissue sarcomas

If your GP feels there's a possibility youhave cancer, they'll refer you for a number of hospital tests.

A diagnosis of a soft tissue sarcoma will usually be made by a hospital specialist and will be based on your symptoms, a physical examination, and the results of:

  • scans an ultrasound scan is usually the first test performed and is fairly simple and quick; further scans such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be performed later
  • a biopsy where a sample of suspected cancerous tissue is removed using a needle or during an operation so it can be tested and analysed in a laboratory

If a diagnosis of a soft tissue sarcoma is confirmed, these and further tests will also help determine how likely the cancer is to spread (known as the "grade"), and whether or how far the cancer has spread (known as the "stage").

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018