Sarcoma tumors are initially located using imaging techniques. The Perlmutter Cancer Center has a dedicated radiologist who specializes in interpreting radiological images of suspected sarcomas. When the radiologist detects the presence of a tumor, that tumor is biopsied and sent to an NYU pathologist who specializes in diagnosing sarcomas.
NYU surgeons perform two types of biopsies:
- Traditional biopsy: surgical removal of the tumor followed by laboratory analysis of the tumor tissue.
- CT-guided biopsy: some patients are spared open surgery by undergoing a CT-guided biopsy. In this technique, the doctor uses computed tomography to guide a thin needle into the tumor to remove a small amount of tissue for analysis.
If the tumor is determined to be a soft-tissue sarcoma or osteosarcoma (bone cancer), the patient is referred for treatment.