Synovial sarcoma

Synovial sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the soft tissues of the body. Usually, such soft tissues are present around your bones and certain organs. They support, connect, and surround these tissues. Examples include muscles, nerves, blood or lymph vessels, fat, tendons, and joint linings.


Moreover, a very less number of individuals develop this disease. Less than 1 percent of total cancers are synovial sarcoma. Usually, teens and young adults between ages 15 and 35 develop synovial sarcoma.

The treatment for this cancer includes surgery. Your doctor may use radiation therapy and chemotherapy along with this form of treatment.


There is no known cause for Synovial Sarcoma. However, there are chances that you develop a synovial sarcoma if it runs in your family.

However, the doctors know that cells present in a synovial sarcoma develop certain mutations (errors) in genetic code. After that, the cells start diving quickly because of these mutations. This leads to the formation of more and more cells. The normal cells will die with time, while cancer cells remain.


In addition to this, several risk factors can increase your chance of developing a synovial sarcoma. These risk factors include:


Exposure to certain chemicals like vinyl chloride, arsenic, or thorium dioxide. 

Prior treatment with a radiation therapy

An initial persistent swelling in the legs or arms.




The main signs and symptoms of a synovial sarcoma depend upon the location and size of your tumor. As cancer grows initially, you may not show any symptoms. However, you may develop a swollen spot or a lump as the tumor grows with time.


Usually, the synovial sarcoma develops in the soft tissues that are present around your knee, ankle, shoulder joints, or hips. For many people, the tumor grows very large and it may difficult for a person to move.


Besides, numbness or pain may result as the tumor presses your nerves. Although rarely, but a synovial sarcoma can also develop in the chest, neck, or head.



Before ordering the imaging tests, your doctor will try to know more about your signs and symptoms. He/she will ask you about the symptoms that you experience and your medical history. The main tests include:


Imaging tests. These tests give various details about the synovial sarcoma. To understand your synovial sarcoma, your doctor may order various tests.

These tests also give an idea about the size and location of your tumor. For instance, the main imaging tests include X-rays, MRI, and CT scans.


X-rays: After a physical examination, your doctor will order you an x-ray. This takes an image of the affected area of your body. If anything suspicious is found in the x-ray, then your doctor will order other tests.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A technician will do an MRI when you lie still and flat on a plain surface. Then, this surface will take you inside an MRI machine that has a tube shape. To create a detailed, 3-D image inside your body, it uses radio waves and a magnetic field.


Computed tomography scan (CAT/CT scan): Similar to the MRI, your doctor may also perform a CT scan. It connects with a computer and takes pictures.


Biopsy. (Removing a sample of tissue for testing). In this procedure, your doctor removes a sample of the tumor and examines it under a microscope. He/she will analyze the changes in the cancer cells. That way, he/she may be able to tell whether you have a tumor or not.



The type of treatment option for you’re a Synovial sarcoma will spend on the location of your cancer, the size of the tumor. It will also depend on whether the tumor has spread to other parts of your body.


The main treatment options for your tumor include:


Surgery. The motive of surgery is to remove the synovial sarcoma of your body. Thus, your surgeon will try to remove the whole of your tumor along with some healthy tissue that surrounds the tumor.


However, in certain cases, surgery may not be a solution. For instance, if the cancer is larger and has already spread to other areas of your body, then other treatment options may be helpful.


Chemotherapy. This method uses powerful drugs or chemicals to kill the tumor cells of Synovial sarcoma. In case the tumor has spread to other organs of the body, then your doctor may order chemotherapy. Furthermore, in many cases, your doctor may use a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy to treat the synovial sarcoma in a better way.

Radiation therapy. To kill the cancer cells, your doctor may use radiation therapy that utilizes high-energy beams, like X-rays and protons. Your doctor may order radiation therapy to kill the remaining cancer cells. Thus, if it is not possible for your doctor to make surgery, he/she may employ radiation therapy.

Coping and support 


When you get diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, it could be frightening for you. The condition will be no different for your family.


However, you may learn to cope with the uncertainty and distress related to cancer with time.  Thus, you need to follow these instructions until then;


Call on for medical support:


Various things are going to help you. For instance, the knowledge and understanding of a medical social worker, or any other mental health professional is necessary. They will help you in understanding your cancer.


Furthermore, if your child or other family member suffers from cancer, you need to ask health care professionals for advice. They will provide you with options for medical health support. This will also provide you with emotional and social support.


In addition to this, you can check various online services that will provide you support to combat cancer.


  • Gain more knowledge about Synovial Sarcoma to make decisionsabout control and care: 


Ask your doctor about various treatment options related to Synovial Sarcoma. Little knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, more confidence in understanding and making decisions about treatment options will be there with you. So you should always learn more about the disease.


Ask the health care team for guidance if your child has cancer. Therefore, get more and more information for appropriately caring for the patient.


Be close to your friends and family:

A close and strong relationship with your family and friends is necessary. It will help you deal with Synovial Sarcoma.


You need practical support, moral support from your friends and relatives. Thus, someone should be there for you to look after the family. Emotional support from them is going to matter most. Thus, a healthy and happy person will ultimately efficiently fight the disease.


Prepare for your appointment


You are likely to start making an appointment with your primary care doctor if some signs and symptoms worry you. Ask for a referral to an experienced specialist if your doctor suspects Synovial Sarcoma.


A team of specialists typically can treat. For instance;

Tumor surgeons who have specialization in operating soft tissue cancers.

Doctors who have a specialization in treating cancers with systemic medications or chemotherapy.

Pathologists diagnose the specific type of cancer by analyzing a tissue.

Rehabilitation specialists who after surgery help in the recovery of a tumor.


What you should expect from your doctor:


You will face several questions from your doctor. Thus, you should be ready to answer these. So, give more time to your doctor to address them. Your doctor may ask;


What signs and symptoms concern you more?


Have your symptoms been occasional or continuous?


When did you start to notice the symptoms?

The severity of your symptoms?


Is there anything that improves your symptoms?


Is there anything that worsens your symptoms?


Do you have any family or personal history of cancer?