Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop in the body’s supporting or connective tissue, other than bone. There are many different types, named according to the sites where they originate, which include muscles, fascia (the whitish membrane that encases muscles), tendons, fat, blood vessels, nerves and joint capsules. Symptoms vary and are often the result of an abnormal mass crowding adjacent structures somewhere in the body.
In children, these tumors are relatively rare—each year, only around 850 to 900 children and adolescents are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma. These cancers are divided into two categories—rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS, tumors arising from muscle) and non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue tumors (NRSTS, those arising from other soft tissues). RMS is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children under 15, while NRSTS is more common in later adolescence and young adulthood.
Therapy may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy, depending on the tumor type, location, and stage as determined by initial testing.
Learn more about sarcomas.