Published: Sept. 2, 2011
Updated: Sept. 2, 2011
Most sarcomas cannot be traced to a specific cause. But certain disease or environmental exposures can increase risk of developing sarcoma.
Genetic syndromes. Sarcomas occur more commonly in patients with certain syndromes or diseases, including:
Radiation therapy. Treatment with radiation therapy can increase risk, such as during childhood or for such cancers as lymphoma, cervical cancer, breast cancer, or retinoblastoma.
Immune suppression. One specific type of soft tissue sarcoma, Kaposi sarcoma, is known to be linked to suppression of the immune system in people with HIV or who have taken immunosuppressive drugs. These conditions may allow the virus that causes Kaposi sarcoma to take hold.
Chemical exposures. Some chemicals that people encounter in the workplace or elsewhere may increase risk. These include:
Learn more about sarcomas: