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Disease Profile

Soft tissue sarcoma

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

1-5 / 10 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Connective Tissue Sarcoma; Non-Rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma


Rare Cancers


Soft tissue sarcoma is a form of cancer that occurs due to abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth of the "soft tissues" of the body. These tissues connect, support and surround other body parts and may include muscle, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, tendons and the lining of joints. Many people with early soft tissue sarcoma have no signs or symptoms of the condition. When present, symptoms depend on the location and size of the tumor but may include a palpable lump under the skin, pain, or difficulty breathing.[1][2][3] Most cases occur sporadically in people with little to no family history of the condition. People who have previously received radiation therapy and those with certain inherited disorders (such as Gorlin syndrome, Gardner syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis type 1, and Werner syndrome) have an increased risk of developing a soft tissue sarcoma.[1] The best treatment options depend on many factors but may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.[1][2][3]


FDA-Approved Treatments

The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

      • The American Cancer Society provides information on Soft tissue sarcoma. Please click on the link to access this resource.
      • Mayo Clinic has an information page on Soft tissue sarcoma.
      • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
      • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

        In-Depth Information

        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.


          1. Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. National Cancer Instittute. January 2016; https://www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/hp/adult-soft-tissue-treatment-pdq.
          2. Soft tissue sarcoma. Mayo Clinic. July 2015; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/soft-tissue-sarcoma/basics/definition/con-20033386.
          3. Sarcoma: Adult Soft Tissue Cancer. American Cancer Society. February 2016; https://www.cancer.org/cancer/sarcoma-adultsofttissuecancer/detailedguide/sarcoma-adult-soft-tissue-cancer-soft-tissue-sarcoma.