Because there are so many different types of soft tissue sarcoma, it's important to determine the exact nature of each tumor so that the best treatments can be chosen.
To evaluate the area of concern, your doctor might employ:
- Computerized tomography scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Positron emission tomography
If a soft tissue sarcoma is suspected, it's often best to seek care at a medical center that sees many people with this type of cancer. Experienced doctors will select the best biopsy technique to ensure proper surgical treatment and planning. Options include:
- Core needle biopsy. Tiny tubes of tumor material can be obtained by this method. Doctors typically try to take samples from several sections of the tumor.
- Surgical biopsy. In some cases, your doctor might suggest surgery to obtain a larger sample of tissue or to simply remove a small tumor entirely.
In the lab, a doctor trained in analyzing body tissues (pathologist) examines the tissue sample for signs of cancer. The pathologist also analyzes the sample to understand the type of cancer and to determine whether the cancer is aggressive.