Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop in supporting or connective tissue such as the muscle, nerves, tendons, blood vessels and fatty and fibrous tissues.
They commonly affect the arms, legs and trunk. They also appear in the stomach and intestines (GIST) as well as behind the abdomen (retroperitoneal sarcomas) and the female reproductive system (gynaecological sarcomas).
The most common subtype of soft tissue sarcoma is GIST.
Below we list some of the subtypes. You can click here for a full list of sarcoma subtypes.
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Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma develops from the cells in skeletal muscle, and often in teenagers and young adults.
Alveolar soft part sarcoma
Alveolar soft part sarcoma is a very rare sarcoma that can occur anywhere throughout the body.
Clear cell sarcoma
Clear cell sarcoma often occurs in the hands or the legs, usually around the ankles, knees and feet.
DFSP is a rare tumour that tends to develop from the cells in the middle layer of the skin, called the dermis.
EHE is a very rare type of soft tissue sarcoma that develops from the cells lining the blood vessels.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST)
GIST is a type of sarcoma that develops in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Intimal sarcoma is a very rare type of soft tissue sarcoma that develops from cells in the large blood vessels of the body and sometimes in the heart.
Kaposi’s sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that affects the skin, mouth and occasionally the internal organs.
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST)
MPNSTs, also known as neurofibrosarcomas, develop in the cells that cover nerves.
Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma develops from the cells in skeletal muscle, usually in adults.
Retroperitoneal sarcomas occur in the retroperitoneum (the area in the back of the tummy).
Spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma
Spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma develops from the cells in skeletal muscle.