Having tests for sarcomas
There are some tests you might have at your GP surgery or at the hospital. The tests will help the doctors see whether you have a type of cancer called a soft tissue sarcoma.
Visiting your GP
If you think you might have some of the symptoms of a soft tissue sarcoma, you should go to your GP. They'll be able to talk to you about your symptoms, and they can do tests to find out more.
They’ll examine you and usually arrange for some tests to be done, such as x-rays. There may be a number of reasons why you're feeling unwell, so it can be difficult to diagnose the problem straightaway. If your GP can't find the cause, you'll be referred to a specialist at the hospital.
At the hospital
To begin with you may may see a specialist at a general hospital for more tests. If your GP suspects you have a soft tissue sarcoma, they may refer you directly to a sarcoma specialist.
If you're diagnosed with a sarcoma and you're not already seeing a specialist, you will be referred to one. You'll probably see a lot of doctors, nurses and other staff.
Your hospital doctor will examine you and arrange for some of the following tests:
- bone scans
- ultrasound scans
- MRI, CT or PET scans
- bone marrow tests.
You won't necessarily need all of these tests.
If the tests show that you have a sarcoma, you might need a few more tests to check how your body is working general. These may include:
- blood tests
- tests to check your heart is healthy, including an echo-cardiogram or electrocardiogram (ECG), or a nuclear medicine scan (MUGA scan).
- tests to check your kidneys are healthy, which can involve blood tests or having your wee (urine) collected for a period of time or a nuclear medicine blood test (GFR).
This may seem like a lot of tests, but they’ll help the doctors plan the best treatment for you.
Having tests and waiting for the results can be a scary time. Talking about how you feel and getting support from family, friends, your specialist nurse and doctor can make it a bit easier. You can also use our online community for young people that have had similar experiences or are going through the same as you.
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If you're looking for information about soft tissue sarcomas in people of all ages, please see our general soft tissue sarcoma section.