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Because most people who get soft tissue sarcoma do not have any risk factors, doctors have little advice on how you can prevent this very rare form of cancer.
Remember, you can have all the risk factors and not get soft tissue sarcoma. Or you can have none of them and get this illness. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your risk.
Risk factors you may be able to lessen
When possible, you should avoid these risk factors.
Avoid exposure to radiation. (This may not be possible for people who need radiation to treat cancer.)
Avoid exposure to certain chemicals, especially herbicides and dioxin.
If you or anyone in your family has had neurofibromatosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, retinoblastoma, or soft tissue sarcoma, you may have a slightly elevated risk of this type of cancer. Ask your doctor if you should be tested for inherited genes that might increase your risk of soft tissue sarcoma. It is important to know that there are not a lot of genetic tests to accurately predict your risk for sarcomas.
Unfortunately, there is no test that can find sarcoma cells when they first begin to grow. However, you have a better chance of surviving soft tissue sarcoma if it is found and treated early. For this reason, it is important to tell your doctor right away if you notice any lumps or other symptoms on your body. If you feel a lump on your body, it is important to have your doctor check it. This is especially true if the lump is causing pain or is getting larger. Even though most lumps are not sarcomas, you can't assume so. Your doctor may continue to watch the lump or have tests done.
Don't be afraid to question your doctor and ask for more tests to make yourself feel better. It is your health and your body and it is important to know confidently that any concern you have has been completely evaluated to your satisfaction.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.