Carolinas HealthCare System

Symptoms of bone and soft tissue sarcomas can vary greatly and depend on where the tumor is located. Most soft tissue sarcomas are identified as relatively painless growing masses. Most bone sarcomas are identified as causing pain in an arm, leg or boney location, frequently occurring at night and often described as having a "toothache character."

When to Call Your Provider

If you develop any of the following, make sure to speak to your healthcare provider:

  • A lump (usually painless) anywhere on the body that gets bigger
  • Abdominal pain or bloating that does not get better
  • Bone tenderness and swelling
  • Bone fracture without significant injury or trauma

These symptoms may be caused by other conditions, so it's important to get an evaluation from your provider. Your healthcare provider will take a complete history and perform a physical as the first steps in finding a cause for your symptoms.

X-rays can be useful in an initial examination. Your healthcare provider may also use blood work, CT scan, MRI or PET scan. However, these diagnostic options are usually deferred to a consultant who specializes in sarcomas.