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Symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma of the abdomen and pelvis

Retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcomas usually cause symptoms late and these are often due to the size of the tumor.

In up to 80% of cases, the tumor is discovered by palpation, either by the patient himself or as a coincidental finding during physical examination. A large tumor may lead to compression of surrounding organs leading to nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms in about 50% of patients.

Most common symptoms for both retroperitoneal and intra-abdominal sarcomas include: 

  • Anorexia
  • Asthenia
  • Weight loss 
  • Discomfort in the abdomen

Intra-abdominal sarcomas can also cause more specific symptoms mostly due to tumor localization, ulceration or obstruction:

  • Bleeding
    • Hematemesis
    • Melena
    • Anemia
  • Stenosis/obstruction
    • Nausea
    • Dysphagia
    • Gastroesophageal reflux
    • Constipation
    • Ileus/subileus
    • Pain 

The majority of patients with uterine sarcomas present with abnormal uterine bleeding, regardless of histology. Bleeding may vary from spotting to severe menorrhagia and is reported in up to 95% of patients.

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