Sarcoma Awareness: Risk Factors

Having certain inherited disorders can increase the risk of developing adult soft tissue sarcoma.

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Risk factors for soft tissue sarcoma include the following inherited disorders:

  • Retinoblastoma.
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1 (von Recklinghausen disease or NF1).
  • Tuberous sclerosis.
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
  • Werner syndrome.
  • Basal cell nevus syndrome.

Other risk factors for soft tissue sarcoma include past treatments with radiation therapy during childhood or radiation for certain types of cancer:

  • Retinoblastoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Cervical cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute: General Information About Adult Soft Tissue Sarcomagoing to a new website

Risk factors for osteosarcoma include the following:

  • Age and height: The risk of osteosarcoma is highest during the teenage growth spurts. Children with osteosarcoma are usually tall for their age. There may be a link between rapid bone growth and the risk of tumors forming.
  • Gender: Osteosarcoma is more common in males than in females.
  • Race/ethnicity: Osteosarcoma is slightly more common in African Americans than in whites.
  • Radiation to bones: Young people who were treated with radiation for an earlier cancer have a higher risk of getting osteosarcoma later. Normal X-rays do not seem to increase the risk.
  • Certain bone diseases: Children and teens with certain non-cancer bone diseases have an increased risk of getting osteosarcoma later, usually as an adult. Some of these diseases include Paget disease of bone and multiple hereditary osteochondromas.
  • Certain cancer syndromes: Children with certain rare, inherited cancer syndromes have an increased risk of getting osteosarcoma. One of these syndromes is Li-Fraumeni syndrome. When children with retinoblastoma (a rare eye cancer) are treated with radiation it raises the chance of osteosarcoma in the bones of the skull.

Source: American Cancer Society - Osteosarcoma Overviewgoing to a new website

Risk factors for uterine sarcoma include the following:

  • Past treatment with radiation therapy to the pelvis.
  • Treatment with tamoxifen for breast cancer. A patient taking this drug should have a pelvic exam every year and report any vaginal bleeding (other than menstrual bleeding) as soon as possible.

Source: American Cancer Society - Uterine Sarcomagoing to a new website


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