Having tests for sarcomas

You might have some tests when you visit your GP or at the hospital. The tests help the doctors see whether you have a soft tissue sarcoma.

Visiting your GP

If you think you might have some of the symptoms of a soft tissue sarcoma, you should visit your GP.

They will examine you, and usually arrange for some tests, such as an ultrasound scan. There may be other reasons why you are feeling unwell. So it can be difficult to diagnose the problem straight away. After these tests, your GP may refer you to a hospital for more tests. This could be a general hospital or a specialist cancer hospital.

If your GP thinks you have a soft tissue sarcoma, they may refer you directly to a sarcoma specialist.

At the hospital

You will probably see a lot of doctors, nurses and other staff. Your hospital doctor will examine you and arrange for some of the following tests:

You may not have all of these. After having some of these tests, you may be diagnosed with a sarcoma. If you are not already seeing a specialist, your hospital doctor will refer you to one.

Further tests

If the tests show you have a sarcoma, you might need a few more tests to check your general health. These may include: 

  • blood tests
  • tests to check your heart is healthy – this can include an echo-cardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) or electro-cardiogram (ECG), or a nuclear medicine scan (MUGA scan)
  • tests to check your kidneys are healthy – this can involve blood tests or having your pee (urine) collected for a short time or a nuclear medicine blood test (GFR).

This may seem like a lot of tests, but they help the doctors plan the best treatment for you.

Having tests and waiting for the results can be an anxious time. It can help to talk about how you are feeling. You can get support from family, friends and your specialist nurse and doctor. Or you can use our Online Community to speak to other young people going through a similar time.

Back to Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcomas

Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop from cells in the soft, supporting tissues of the body.

Life after treatment

The long-term effects of surgery depend on the part of your body affected and the operation you have had.

Treatment for sarcomas

The main treatments for soft tissue sarcomas are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.