Clinical Investigations

Routine blood tests have no useful role to play in diagnosing a soft tissue lump.

Plain X-rays also yield very little information unless there is calcification or ossification within the lump. This may sometimes be seen in synovial sarcomas.

The most useful investigation in assessing soft tissue lumps is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) but the interpretation of the scans is complicated and depends on a highly trained and experienced radiologist. MRI can define the composition of a lump, identify the location and extent of the mass, provide information on involvement of nearby structures such as nerves and vessels, may help differentiate between benign and malignant tumours and can stage a malignant tumour locally.

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