Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

What is Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma?

Childhood soft tissue sarcoma is a disease in which cancer cells begin growing in the soft tissue in a child’s body. The soft tissues connect, support and surround the body parts and organs, and include muscles, tendons, connective tissues, fat, blood vessels, nerves and synovial tissues (that surround the joints). Cancer develops as the result of abnormal cell growth within the soft tissues.

Types of Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

There are many types of soft tissue sarcomas are classified according to the type of soft tissue they resemble. Types include:

Types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Tumors of Fibrous (connective) TissueDesmoid tumorFibrosarcoma
Fibrohystiocytic TumorsMalignant Fibrous Histiocytoma
Fat Tissue TumorsLiposarcoma
Smooth Muscle TumorsLeiomyosarcoma
Blood and Lymph Vessel TumorsAngiosarcomaHemangiopericytomaHemangioendothelioma
Synovial (joint) Tissue SarcomaSynovial sarcoma
Peripheral Nervous System TumorsMalignant Schwannoma
Bone and Cartilage TumorsExtraosseous OsteosarcomaExtraosseous myxoid chondrosarcomaExtraosseous mesenchymal chondrosarcoma
Combination Tissue Type TumorsMalignant mesenchymoma
Tumors of Unknown OriginAlveolar soft part sarcomaEpitheloid sarcomaClear cell sarcoma

Risk Factors of Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcoma is more likely to develop in people who have the following risk factors:

  • Specific genetic conditions. Certain genetic syndromes, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, may put some people at a higher risk for developing this disease.
  • Radiation therapy. Children who have previously received radiation therapy are at a higher risk.
  • Virus. Children who have the Epstein-Barr virus as well as AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome are at a higher risk as well.

Common Symptoms of Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

  • A solid lump or mass, usually in the trunk, arms or legs
  • Other symptoms depend upon the location of the tumor and if it is interfering with other bodily functions
  • Rarely causes fever, weight loss or night sweats

If your child has any of these symptoms, please see his/her doctor.

Diagnosing Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

If symptoms are present, your child’s doctor will complete a physical exam and will prescribe additional tests to find the cause of the symptoms. Tests may include:

Once soft tissue sarcoma is found, additional tests will be performed to determine the stage (progress) of the cancer. Treatment will depend upon the type, location and stage of the disease.

Treatment Options for Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Once the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed, and the type and stage of the disease has been determined, your child’s doctor will work with you, your child, and appropriate specialists to plan the best treatment. Current treatment options include:

Information about…Our services
SurgeryPediatric Surgery
Radiation TherapyRadiation Oncology
ChemotherapyPediatric Hematology/Oncology

Find out about our clinical trials for:

Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcoma

National cancer clinical trials

Our Specialists

Barbara L. Asselin M.D.

Andrea S. Hinkle M.D.

David N. Korones M.D.

Norma B. Lerner M.D.

James Palis M.D.

Radiation Oncologist

Louis Constine, M.D.

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