Symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma

The symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma will vary, depending on the size of the cancer and where it is in the body.

Soft tissue sarcoma is rare. It is much more likely that some other problem is causing your symptoms. But it's important to get any symptoms checked out by your GP. 

Early stage symptoms

In their early stages soft tissue sarcomas do not usually cause symptoms. As sarcomas can grow anywhere in the body, the symptoms will depend on where the cancer is. The main symptoms can include:

  • a lump that's painless at first
  • a lump increasing in size
  • pain or soreness as the lump grows and presses against nerves and muscles


You should see your doctor if you have an unexplained lump. Many people get lumps and bumps and most of them will not be cancer. But it's best to get it checked.

A lump is more likely to be a sarcoma if it:

  • is big (for example, more than 5 cm across) or getting bigger
  • is deep in the body tissues
  • is painful
  • occurs when you are older
  • has come back after previous surgery to remove sarcoma

Other symptoms

It's possible to have other symptoms from sarcoma. But it's difficult to list all of these because it would depend on where the sarcoma is in your body. See your doctor if you notice anything that isn’t normal for you.

Remember, the symptoms mentioned here can be caused by conditions other than cancer. This is a rare disease, and it is much more likely that something else is causing your symptoms.