About this disease

What it is about

Together with bone tumors, soft tissue tumors belong to the so-called sarcomas. Along with carcinomas (e.g. breast, prostate, lung or colon cancer) and hematological tumors affecting the blood and lymphatic system (leukemias and lymphomas), these belong to the three large groups of cancers.


There are over 80 different subtypes of soft tissue sarcoma. The occurrence of a sarcoma is very rare and all subtypes together account for only about one hundredth of all tumor cases. Therefore, highly specialized centers are involved to determine the respective subtype.

Symptoms and consequences

A soft tissue sarcoma is often noticed by a painful swelling on the body. However, depending on where the tumor is located, other symptoms may also occur or it may be discovered by chance during a routine examination. However, due to the rarity of the disease and the wide variety of ways in which it manifests itself, it must be assumed rather rarely that it is soft tissue cancer if symptoms are present.

What we do for you

Examination and diagnosis

In order to make the diagnosis of soft tissue cancer, a computed tomography (CT and, if necessary, PET-CT) and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are usually necessary. Since sarcomas are very rare, the situation must first be discussed with various specialists within the framework of the so-called sarcoma board. The appropriate treatment concept is then determined by sarcoma specialists from surgery, radiation oncology, pathology and oncology.


Treatment is very individual. If the soft tissue cancer has not yet spread in the body, the chances of cure are good. As a rule, a tissue sample is first taken. The tumor is then surgically removed. The operation is performed in a certified center hospital such as the University Hospital of Zurich. In rare cases, radiation therapy may have to be administered afterwards. If the cancer has already spread and there are offshoots in the body, so-called metastases, an individual treatment concept is also discussed close to home.

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