Because sarcoma can start in several different parts of the body, symptoms are not always the same from one person to the next. For instance, sarcomas that develop in the bones or soft tissues of the arms can produce vastly different symptoms than those that develop in the abdomen or legs.
Sarcoma and lumps
When sarcomas develop, the tumors can sometimes be seen beneath the skin. Small, painless lumps or swollen areas – especially those that grow larger with time – can be a sign of sarcoma. However, lumps can also be noncancerous, so it’s best to consult with an experienced physician who can order a biopsy, or tissue test.
It’s also important to remember that not all sarcomas cause lumps. Those that develop in certain parts of the body, such as the uterus, are almost never visible outside of the body.
Site-specific symptoms of sarcoma
Depending on where in the body a sarcoma develops, it can cause certain site-specific symptoms, such as:
- Vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain, for those that develop in the uterus
- Chest pain and difficulty breathing, for those that develop in the heart or lungs
- Constipation or discolored stools, for those that develop in the bowels
- Difficulty walking, for those that develop in the legs
If you experience unusual symptoms such as these, it’s normal to be concerned. But, you don’t have to spend time worrying. You can have your symptoms professionally evaluated at Moffitt Cancer Center, where our specialized Sarcoma Program offers comprehensive diagnostic services and treatments in one location. For more information, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. You do not need a physician’s referral to request an appointment.