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Soft tissue sarcoma is a rare cancer that starts as a growth of cells in the soft tissues of your body. Your soft tissues include your muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, and the tissues surrounding your joints. Cancer of the soft tissues can develop anywhere in the body. However, the cancer is found most often in the arms, legs, chest, and abdomen.

More than 50 types of soft tissue sarcoma exist. Some types are more likely to be found in children. Others occur  mostly in adults. Soft tissue sarcoma is rare compared to other types of cancer. For example, sarcomas account for less than 1% of all adult cancers. But, the symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma are severe and can prevent you from being able to work.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma word cloud conceptual design isolated on white background.

According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, in the United States almost 14,000 new cases of soft tissue sarcoma will be found this year. Out of those cases, about 5,400 people will die from the disease. In terms of the survival rate, 75% will  survive this cancer for 1 year or more after diagnosis. Additionally, about 55% will survive this cancer for 5 years or more after their diagnosis.

If you believe you will be off work for over one year, then you should apply for SSD benefits. You can file an application on the SSA’s website. There are two types of Social Security benefits that you can apply for. One is Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and the other is Supplemental Security Income benefits.


Qualifying for SSD benefits means you have a severe medical condition that prevents you from working at any job in the national economy. The symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma can be so severe that they prevent you from working. The SSA uses a five step review process to determine if they can pay you benefits. Below, you can find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can file for:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  

SSDI benefits are for those who can no longer work due to a severe medical condition. The amount of money you receive from SSDI benefits is based on the taxes you paid during your working years. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify.

A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need depends on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits at the time you apply, then you will only be able to file for SSI benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  

SSI is a needs based benefit. It is for only those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those who live with you, such as a spouse, not just your income and assets.

If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. The same rule applies if you are living with a boyfriend and he is paying your bills. Also, the same rule applies if you are living with your common law wife and she is paying your bills. You cannot get SSI benefits, no matter how severe your medical condition, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.


Because each type of cancer starts in a different soft tissue in the body, there are many kinds of soft tissue sarcomas. Since each cancer is unique, they each require their own treatment approach. Some examples of types of soft tissue sarcoma include:

  • Leiomyosarcoma: This type of sarcoma arises from smooth muscle tissue, which is found in organs such as the uterus, intestinal tract, and blood vessels.
  • Liposarcoma: Liposarcoma develops from fat cells and is one of the most common types of soft tissue sarcoma. It usually occurs in the deep soft tissues of the thigh, abdomen, or behind the abdominal cavity.
  • Fibrosarcoma: Fibrosarcoma starts in your fibrous tissue. Fibrous tissue forms tendons, ligaments, and covers your muscles. Therefore, the sarcoma occurs in your arms, legs, and trunk.
  • Synovial sarcoma: This type of sarcoma arises from the synovial tissue, which lines the joints. Synovial sarcoma can occur anywhere in the body, not just in the joints.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma: Rhabdomyosarcoma is a sarcoma that develops from skeletal muscle cells. It is commonly found in children and teens, but it can also occur in adults.
  • Angiosarcoma: Angiosarcoma begins with blood vessels or lymphatic vessels. It can occur in any part of the body. However, it is often found in the skin, breast, liver, or deep soft tissues.
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor: This develops from the cells surrounding nerves and can occur anywhere in the body. It is often associated with a genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis type 1.
  • Desmoid tumor: Although considered a benign tumor, desmoid tumors are aggressive and can invade nearby tissues. They arise from connective tissue cells called fibroblasts. These usually occur in the abdomen. But, they can occur in other parts of the body.


The symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma depend on the location and size of the tumor. Some common symptoms  include:

  • A palpable lump or mass: Soft tissue sarcoma often presents as a painless lump in the affected area. The lump may increase in size over time.
  • Pain or discomfort: As the tumor grows, it may cause pain, particularly if it presses on nerves, muscles, or other structures.
  • Limited movement or function: Tumors located near joints or muscles may impair movement or function in the area.
  • Swelling or fluid buildup: Soft tissue sarcomas can cause fluid buildup in the affected area. This can lead to visible changes in the skin or tissues.
  • Nerve Weakness: If the tumor affects nerves, it may lead to weakness, and a numb or tingling sensation in the surrounding area.
  • Unexplained weight loss: In some cases, soft tissue sarcoma can cause weight loss or fatigue.
  • Other symptoms: Depending on the location of the tumor and its impact on nearby structures, you may experience additional symptoms. For example, you may have trouble breathing if the tumor is in your chest. If the tumor is causing abdominal pain, then the tumor affects the digestive tract.

It’s important to note that many soft tissue sarcomas often have no symptom or cause only mild symptoms, especially in the early stages. However, as the tumor grows, symptoms become more noticeable. If you notice any unusual lumps, or other chronic symptoms, then it is important to visit your doctor. Early detection of the disease may make the difference between a positive or negative outcome.


Soft tissue sarcoma usually involve a number of treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Your treatment plan should be based on your tumor’s location, size, grade, and stage. Also, the doctor will need to assess your overall health.

Surgery is often the primary treatment for soft tissue sarcoma. The aim is to operate and remove the tumor with a margin of healthy tissue. Reconstructive surgery may be necessary in some cases to restore function and appearance after treatment. Radiation therapy uses high energy beams to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. This can be done before or after surgery. It also helps reduce symptoms in advanced cases.

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells or inhibit their growth. It is often used along with surgery or radiation therapy, particularly for larger, high grade tumors. Targeted therapy drugs are designed to target specific molecules that are involved in the cancer. They offer a more focused approach with potentially fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy, although not normally used for soft tissue sarcoma, shows promise in using the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. Research into immunotherapy drugs, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, is ongoing. Clinical trials are being done to treat soft tissue sarcoma.

Furthermore, clinical trials may provide access to novel treatments and therapies for those with soft tissue sarcoma. The hope is to find potential treatment options for those patients who have not responded to standard therapy.


Meeting a listing, particularly Listing 13.04 for soft tissue sarcoma, means showing your medical condition meets the rules written by the SSA.  To meet Listing 13.04, you must present medical evidence that clearly shows you have soft tissue sarcoma that has spread or failed to respond to therapy.

13.04 Soft tissue sarcoma.

A. With regional or distant metastases.


B. Persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.

Meeting listing 13.04 requires medical records of the diagnosis, treatment, and functional limitations associated with soft tissue sarcoma. By providing detailed medical evidence that proves the criteria in listing 13.04, you can increase your chances of winning SSDI benefits.

You can provide medical evidence to the SSA when you file your application. Additionally, you can submit medical evidence throughout the five step SSA review process. DDS will review your evidence. If DDS does not grant your case, then your case will be heard by a judge in a court hearing. You can submit medical and other evidence to the SSA up to one week prior to your hearing. Prior to a hearing with an SSA judge, you should hire a law firm with the proper legal experience to help you win your benefits.


The SSA has a special program that allows for payment of SSD benefits when your condition is severe or might result in death. The program is the compassionate allowance program. Soft tissue sarcoma is on the compassionate allowance list.

Soft tissue sarcomas are generally large at the time of first diagnosis. This is because they tend not cause any symptoms until the tumor starts to push aside normal tissue. That is when the tumor creates lumps, swelling and pain. When soft tissue sarcomas spread to other sites they have a poor outcome.

The exact cause of soft tissue sarcoma is unknown. Those with environmental exposure to high levels of some chemicals, radiation, or have certain genetic conditions may be at risk for developing soft tissue sarcoma. The SSA states that those with soft tissue sarcoma that has spread or that is recurrent qualify for the special program. The reason for this is the tumor is considered aggressive, because it can quickly spread from the original site to other parts of the body such as lungs and lymph nodes. Obviously, an aggressive tumor will result in death.


When you hire our law firm to win your SSD benefits, we will do everything we can to obtain the following important information. For example, we will need to:

  • Obtain a Diagnosis: The first step is to obtain a formal diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma from your doctor. This diagnosis should include relevant medical records, imaging studies, biopsy results, and pathology reports.
  • Review SSA’s Blue Book Listing: Carefully review the specific criteria in Listing 13.04 of SSA’s Blue Book. This listing includes requirements related to the type, location, and extent of soft tissue sarcoma.
  • Provide Detailed Medical Evidence: Compile comprehensive medical evidence that documents your diagnosis, treatment history, and the limits caused by soft tissue sarcoma. This may include progress notes from your doctor, imaging studies (such as MRI or CT scans), biopsy results, and treatment records.
  • Document Symptoms: Describe in detail the symptoms and functional limits you experience due to soft tissue sarcoma. This may include pain, weakness, limited range of motion, difficulty walking or standing, and any other problems that affect your daily activities and ability to work.
  • Submit Medical Records: Submit all medical records, test results, and other evidence along with your application to the SSA. Ensure that the information aligns with the rules in Listing 13.04.
  • Statements from Treating Providers: Obtain written statements from your doctor or medical experts about your soft tissue sarcoma. The doctor can write about the treatments you have had and your functional limits. These statements will help you prove your cancer meets Listing 13.04.


You do not need to try to win SSD benefits for soft tissue sarcoma by yourself. We can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Try not to take that long to finish it. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you need help to file your application, then we will help you.


It isn’t easy to get Social Security benefits and the application process can be frustrating for most people. But, having an attorney throughout the appeal process can make it easier. It is our belief that when you have a law firm with experience handling your Social Security case, the SSA makes sure that they follow their own procedures. You want the SSA to follow their rules if you have soft tissue sarcoma.

Additionally, when you have an attorney with legal experience, they will have access to Social Security’s decisions throughout the review process. Your attorney can submit medical evidence that may be missing from your case.

There is evidence that hiring an attorney with the proper experience raises your chances of winning your SSDI and SSI benefits by 30%. It is also smart to hire an attorney to help you at your hearing. After all, you are the star witness at your hearing. If you hire an attorney with experience, then they can prepare you to testify at your hearing. Learn more about how to prepare for your SSD hearing.


We will use our legal skills to help you through the Social Security appeal process. It is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make the appeal process easier for you.

We offer a free review of your case. If you call, there is no pressure to become our client. You ask questions, we answer. Even if we don’t accept your case, we will still try to help you.

It also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. If we win, then the SSA pays us out of your back benefits. Learn more about past due benefits. If you do not win, then you do not pay an attorney fee.

How much is the attorney fee? The attorney fee is whatever is less between 25% of your back benefit and the fee cap. This is best understood through an example. If your back benefit is $10,000, then your attorney fee would be $2500.

However, if your back benefit is $100,000, you would not pay 25% or $25,000 in attorney fees. Instead, you would pay the amount of the fee cap, which is $7200. Therefore, if you win your case, then your fee is capped at the $7200 amount.

Regardless, you pay whatever is less between 25% of your back benefit and the fee cap. Additionally, you only owe an attorney fee if we win your case. Find out more about what it will cost to hire an SSD law firm.


At Cannon Disability Law we can help you apply for SSD benefits. Also, we can help you appeal an SSA denial. Additionally, we will represent you in court at your Social Security hearing. If you have soft tissue sarcoma, then      we can help you testify in court. Our goal is to prove to the judge that you deserve SSD benefits.

If necessary, we can appeal your case to the Appeals Council. Likewise, we file appeals in Federal Court. Finally, we can represent you no matter where you live. For example, we can represent you if need the top SSDI attorney in Utah or Nevada. Additionally, we can help you if you live in Idaho, Colorado, or California.

Learn information on Idaho SSD benefits. Likewise, we have information on how to file for SSD benefits in California. If you need help filing for SSD benefits in Colorado, then we have an article to help you.

Your ability to receive Medicaid benefits and Medicare depends upon whether or not you are successful with your SSD claim. In order to fight the SSA, you need an attorney and legal staff with experience. Hire us.

Dianna Cannon has been helping people win their benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers also have decades of legal experience. Together, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI hearings. You can trust us. We will do everything we can to win your SSD and SSI benefits for soft tissue sarcoma.

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