Key Points about Fibrosarcoma

  • Fibrosarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma that usually affects children and teenagers.
  • Doctors use imaging tests, biopsy and physical exams to diagnose fibrosarcoma.
  • Treatment for fibrosarcoma may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy and/or radiation therapy.


Fibrosarcoma is a type of soft tissue sarcoma that begins in the connective tissue at the ends of the bones of the arms or legs, and this condition commonly spreads to surrounding soft tissues. There are two types of fibrosarcoma:

  • Infantile fibrosarcoma – also known as congenital fibrosarcoma, this is the most common type of tissue sarcoma in children under age 1. Infantile fibrosarcoma typically appears shortly after birth as a rapidly growing mass.
  • Adult form fibrosarcoma – this type typically affects children between the ages of 10 and 15, and it is usually more quickly growing than infantile fibrosarcoma.

Fibrosarcoma causes

Researchers don’t yet understand the exact cause of fibrosarcoma, but they believe that an inherited mutation in the genes may play a role.

Fibrosarcoma risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk for developing fibrosarcoma:

  • Having a family history of Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Having a family history of sarcoma
  • Having a personal or family history of retinoblastoma
  • Having neurofibromatosis

Fibrosarcoma symptoms

Signs and symptoms of fibrosarcoma can include:

  • Limping or other difficulty walking
  • Mass that can be felt in the arm or leg
  • Pain or soreness
  • Trouble using legs, feet, arms or hands

Fibrosarcoma diagnosis

Your oncologist may use one or more of the following tests to diagnose this condition:

  • Physical exam – your doctor will perform a complete physical exam, including asking questions about your health history, symptoms and related risk factors.
  • Biopsy – in this test, your doctor removes a biopsy (small sample) from the suspicious area. This sample is sent to the laboratory, where a specialist closely checks the biopsy for soft tissue sarcoma.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan – this type of imaging test provides a 3D image of the inside of the body that your doctor can use to determine the size and location of the soft tissue sarcoma.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – this type of imaging test uses high-powered magnets to create detailed images of the inside of your body. Your doctor can closely examine these images to determine the size and location of the soft tissue sarcoma.

Fibrosarcoma treatments

Depending on your personal health history, the extent of the cancer and other factors, your oncologist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Surgery – you may need to undergo surgery to remove the cancerous area. Your surgeon will work to preserve as much surrounding healthy tissue as possible.
  • Chemotherapy – you may need to also undergo chemotherapy to destroy any cancerous cells that couldn’t be removed surgically. During this treatment, medication is used to destroy cancerous cells. Chemotherapy can be taken via an oral (by mouth) pill or intravenously (through a vein).
  • Radiation therapy – this treatment uses high-powered energy beams to destroy cancerous cells. You may need to undergo radiation therapy to destroy any cancerous cells that couldn’t be removed surgically.
  • Targeted drug therapy – if you have a specific soft tissue sarcoma responsive to particular medications, your doctor may recommend this treatment option.

When should I seek care?

If you experience any of these symptoms, start by voicing your concerns and symptoms to your primary care provider. Your doctor may suggest seeing an oncologist for more specialized treatment.

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