Signs of sarcoma vary from person to person. Many times sarcoma does not have symptoms in the early stages. Only about half of soft-tissue sarcomas are found in the early stages before they spread.
The location of the sarcoma makes a difference in the symptoms. For instance if they start:
- On the arms or legs, you may notice a lump that grows over a period of weeks to months. It may hurt, but it usually doesn’t.
- In the retroperitoneum (the back wall inside the abdomen), they may cause problems that have symptoms, such as pain. Tumors may cause blockage or bleeding of the stomach or bowels. They may grow large enough for the tumor to be felt in the abdomen.
If you have any of the following problems, talk to your doctor:
- A new lump or a lump that is growing anywhere on your body
- Abdominal pain that is getting worse
- Blood in your stool or vomit
- Black, tarry stools (this may mean there is internal bleeding)
These symptoms do not always mean you have sarcoma. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may also signal other health problems.
Some cases of soft tissue sarcoma can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Learn more about the risk to you and your family on our genetic testing page.