What is it?

Synovial sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that tends to arise near large joints, particularly the knee, in young adults. Despite its name, it typically doesn't affect the interior of joints, where synovial tissue and fluid are located.

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Signs & symptoms

A soft tissue sarcoma may not cause any signs and symptoms in its early stages. As the tumor grows, it may cause:
* A noticeable lump or swelling
* Pain, if a tumor presses on nerves or muscles


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.
- Imaging tests: To evaluate the area of concern, your doctor might employ: X-rays, Computerized tomography scans, Magnetic resonance imaging, Positron emission tomography
- Biopsy: 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 or Surgical biopsy. 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.


Your treatment options for soft tissue sarcoma will depend on the size, type and location of your tumor.
- Surgery: Surgery is a common treatment for soft tissue sarcoma. Surgery generally involves removing the cancer and some healthy tissue surrounding it.

When soft tissue sarcoma affects the arms and legs, radiation and chemotherapy may be considered to shrink the tumor to avoid amputation.

- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves treating cancer with high-powered beams of energy. Options include:
Before surgery. Radiation before surgery can help shrink the tumor so that it's easier to remove.
During surgery. Intraoperative radiation allows a higher dose of radiation to be delivered directly to the target area, while sparing surrounding tissues.
After surgery. Postoperative radiation can help kill any remaining cancer cells.

-Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered by pill or through a vein (intravenously). Some forms of soft tissue sarcoma respond better to chemotherapy than do others. For instance, chemotherapy is often used to treat rhabdomyosarcoma.

- Targeted drug treatment: Some types of soft tissue sarcoma have specific characteristics in their cells that can be attacked via targeted drug treatments. These medicines work better than chemotherapy and aren't nearly as toxic. Targeted treatments have been particularly helpful in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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