Screening for soft tissue sarcomas | Cancer Research UK
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Screening for soft tissue sarcomas

Men and woman discussing soft tissue sarcomas

This page tells you about screening for soft tissue sarcomas. You can find information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Screening for soft tissue sarcomas

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease before they have any symptoms. As soft tissue sarcomas are so rare and can occur in any part of the body, it is unlikely that a screening programme would ever be an effective way of finding sarcomas.

Some people are thought to be at a higher risk, such as those who have particular inherited conditions. Doctors are aware of these conditions. People with the genetic conditions Li Fraumeni syndrome or neurofibromatosis are screened for cancers regularly. If you have any of the genetic conditions that give a higher risk of developing sarcoma, you can talk to your doctor about checking for sarcomas.

People who have had radiotherapy are known to have a slightly increased risk of getting a sarcoma in the part of the body that was treated. Your specialist will be aware of this and keeping an eye out for symptoms. If you are at all worried, talk to your doctor at one of your check ups.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the About soft tissue sarcoma cancer section.

 

 

What we mean by screening

Screening means looking for early signs of a particular disease in healthy people who don't have any symptoms. Screening cannot prevent cancer but it can find some cancers as early as possible when the chance of cure is high.

 

Why there isn't a screening programme for sarcoma

As soft tissue sarcomas are so rare and can occur in any part of the body it is unlikely that a screening programme would ever be an effective way of finding sarcoma. There are so many different types of sarcoma that it is likely that people would need to have quite a few different tests. And to find each case of sarcoma many other people would have unnecessary tests.

If screening were to be introduced for sarcoma, the screening test would need to be simple, quick and not too expensive. No such screening test exists at the moment. It is more cost effective to screen people who may have a higher risk of sarcoma, such as people who have particular inherited conditions.

 

If you think you are at high risk

Doctors can monitor people who may be at higher risk than average of developing a sarcoma. People who have Li Fraumeni syndrome or neurofibromatosis are screened for cancers regularly. If you have any of the genetic conditions linked with sarcoma, you can talk to your doctor about regular checking for sarcomas.

People who have had radiotherapy are known to have a slightly increased risk of getting a sarcoma in the part of the body that was treated. Your specialist will be aware of this and keeping an eye out for symptoms. If you are at all worried, talk to your specialist at one of your check ups.

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Updated: 6 February 2015