Skip to content

Cancer Health Center

Sarcoma

Font Size
A
A
A

Diagnosing Sarcoma

If your doctor thinks you may have a sarcoma, you'll probably need a full exam and tests, including:

  • A sample of cells from the tumor, called a biopsy
  • Imaging tests, such as a CT scan, an ultrasound, or an MRI, to help see inside your body
  • A bone scan, if you might have osteosarcoma

Sarcoma Treatments

How your sarcoma is treated depends on what type you have, where in your body it is, how developed it is, and whether or not it has spread to other parts of your body, or metastasized.

Surgery takes the tumor out of your body. In most cases of osteosarcoma, the doctor can remove just the cancer cells, and you won't need your arm or leg removed, too.

Radiation can shrink the tumor before surgery or kill cancer cells that are left after surgery. It could be the main treatment, if surgery isn't an option.

Chemotherapy drugs can also be used with or instead of surgery. Chemo is often the first treatment when the cancer has spread.

Targeted therapies are newer treatments that use drugs or man-made versions of antibodies from the immune system to block the growth of cancer cells while leaving normal cells undamaged.

Surviving Sarcoma

Most people diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma are cured by surgery alone, if the tumor is low-grade; that means it is not likely to spread to other parts of the body. More aggressive sarcomas are harder to treat successfully.

The survival rate for osteosarcoma is between 60% and 80% if the cancer has not spread. It is more likely to be cured if all of the cancer can be removed by surgery.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 23, 2013
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
A common one in both men and women.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Do you know the symptoms?
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article