There are not yet any sarcoma screening exams for people who do not currently have any unusual symptoms. There are certain genetic tests that can identify individuals who have a higher risk of developing sarcoma as a result of an inherited disease or syndrome, but these tests are not used for early detection. People who have a genetically elevated risk of developing a sarcoma are instructed to be especially mindful of any unusual changes to their health; however, there is no test that can predict these unusual changes before they actually occur.
Another reason that there is no widely recommended sarcoma screening option is that there are more than 70 different types of sarcoma, and each type develops in a different part of the body. There is no simple or cost-effective way to examine every muscle, tendon, blood vessel, fatty deposit, nerve and bone in the body for cancerous cells.
As part of our efforts to develop an effective sarcoma screening option, Moffitt Cancer Center is involved with studies that focus on:
- Identifying biomarkers, or substances in a patient’s blood, that could potentially indicate the presence of cancer
- Developing better imaging techniques – or finding new ways to use existing imaging techniques – to detect early-stage tumors
- Fine-tuning genetic tests for people with a family history of sarcoma, or for people with inherited diseases that increase their risk of developing cancer
To learn more about the currently available options for sarcoma screening and diagnosis, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. You do not need to obtain a referral to make an appointment.