What is sarcoma?

Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the supporting tissues of the body. Supporting tissues include bone, cartilage, tendons, fat and muscle.

There are 2 main types of sarcoma:

  • soft tissue sarcomas
  • bone sarcomas (also called primary bone cancer).

Depending on the type, you may have different tests and treatments. You can find more information by following the links below.

Soft tissue sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcomas can develop in any tissues that support, connect, surround and protect the organs of the body. This includes:

  • fat
  • muscle
  • nerves
  • fibrous tissues
  • tendons and ligaments
  • blood vessels.

There are many different types of soft tissue sarcoma. We have more detailed information about the following types:

Bone sarcoma

Sarcoma that starts in a bone is also called primary bone cancer. There are different types of bone cancer. The most common types are:

Ewing sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a type of sarcoma that usually starts in the bone but can also start in soft tissues. It is most often found in teenagers and young adults, but it can happen at other ages.

We have more information about Ewing sarcoma.

Sarcoma symptoms

The symptoms of sarcoma depend on the part of the body that is affected. It may cause

  • pain
  • swelling
  • a lump that is getting bigger.

We have more information about possible symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer. If you are worried about any symptoms you have, talk to your GP.

Reviewed: 30 November 2019
Reviewed: 30/11/2019
Next review: 31 May 2022
Next review: 31/05/2022