Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) can develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels or deep skin tissues. The most common primary sites of STS include extremities (e.g., arm or leg), internal organs, retroperitoneum (contains the kidneys, pancreas and certain abdominal structures), torso, head and neck.
Approximately 50% of patients are diagnosed with or expected to progress to advanced or metastatic disease, meaning the cancer cells have spread to other areas in the body.
Possible signs and symptoms of advanced STS include, but are not limited to: blood in the stool or vomit, increasing abdominal pain and/or a new lump or a lump that is growing (anywhere on the body).
Treating advanced soft tissue sarcoma
Surgery is the most common treatment for sarcomas depending on the specific location and stage of the sarcoma. Treatment options for patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma include:
A multidisciplinary approach to care is recommended, and may include orthopedic surgeons, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, physiatrists, as well as respiratory therapists and physical therapists.
Questions to ask your doctor
What kind of soft tissue sarcoma do I have?
What are my treatment choices?
What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
What are the side effects of each treatment?
How will each treatment affect me?
Are there new treatments or clinical trials that I should consider?
What resources are available to support patients with advanced STS and their loved ones?
Are there any patient groups in the area or online who can provide support and information?