Bone and Soft Tissue Tumour Service

Diagnostic services

Most patients who are suspected of having a bone or soft tissue tumour (often called sarcoma), will have one or more scans of the affected area.

Many patients also need a biopsy, where samples of tissue is taken from the tumour for testing..


Patients may have one or more scans:

  • ultrasound scan - a straightforward and quick examination which can often be done when you attend the clinic (although you may need to wait). An ultrasound is a good way of looking to see if a tumour is worrying. 
  • MRI scans - many patients also need an MRI scan. This takes longer than an ultrasound and usually needs a separate appointment. An MRI gives more detail about the size and location of the tumour. 
  • CT scan - some patients might need a CT scan, which scans the whole body - in particular the chest, abdomen and pelvis - to look for malignant tumours and for any spread of malignant tumours.


If a biopsy is needed,  it can often be done under local anaesthetic in the outpatient department using a needle. Usually biopsies are carried out by the radiology team under ultrasound guidance. Occasionally a biopsy guided by a CT scanner is best - this depends on the size and location of the tumour

Depending on the tumour and the patient, people need an operation under general anaesthetic to carry out a biopsy.

Treatment plan

Once we have the results of diagnostic tests, our expert team  will recommend a  course of treatment which we will discuss with you.  

More information

You can get more details about:

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