Some of the patients who are suffering from late-stage soft tissue sarcoma cancer might not be suitable for sarcoma treatment other than palliative one, which aims to ease the pain rather than curing the patient. Also, other medical problems the patient has can affect the variety of soft tissue sarcoma treatment or can even terminate the process due to the patient’s overall bad state.
The patients should inform their doctors about the medical conditions they have as well as medications taken for them. This way, an appropriate sarcoma treatment can be planned for the patient.
Depending on the area affected by soft tissue sarcoma, the preparation for sarcoma surgery differs. If the patient has soft tissue sarcoma in limbs, then generally fewer preparations would be needed. In abdominal sarcoma, the patient is asked to fast for several hours before the operation.
If the patient’s soft tissue sarcoma treatment includes chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, it is recommended to undergo other prearranged medical procedures before their first treatment session, since these treatments’ side effects can interfere with other procedures.
Sarcoma treatment may be performed in many ways, such as:
• Soft tissue sarcoma surgery – Especially in earlier stages of sarcoma, the surgeons might attempt to cut out cancerous tissues. Occasionally, this procedure might involve the amputation of the affected limb as well.
• Chemotherapy – During chemotherapy, strong drugs are used to fight cancer cells
• Radiation therapy – in this procedure, radiation is used to eliminate cancer cells. It can be performed as external radiation therapy (radiation is generated by a machine) or internal radiation therapy (radioactive elements are given to the patient by injection)
• Biologic therapy – In this treatment type, new generations of drugs are used to fight cancer cells in a more precise way.
Depending on the treatment type used for sarcoma and the area treated the soft tissue sarcoma treatment recovery period changes. The patient may be required to stay in the hospital for a few days after the sarcoma operation. Also, the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy might last for a longer time, sometimes even for years.
Just like in any other type of cancer treatment, sometimes soft cell sarcoma treatment causes some complications as well, such as:
• Bleeding and problems with closing the wound
• Damage to lungs
• Problems with organs such as heart or kidney
• Neurological problems
If the patient’s soft tissue sarcoma surgery involves limb amputation process, then the patient must get used to living with a prosthesis. Also, chemotherapy and radiation therapy might cause some side effects, including:
• a general feeling of weakness and tiredness
• Problems with memory and concentration
• Difficulties with the digestive system
Thesurvival rate of 5-year soft tissue sarcoma is high, reaching 83% for sarcomas that are early-diagnosed and 16% for later stages. However, more than half of all soft tissue sarcomas are detected in the early stages, and these results become better and better as time passes.
What Is Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
Soft tissue sarcoma is a kind of cancer, that develops in soft tissues, namely fat, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles.
Is Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery the Best Treatment for Sarcoma?
Depending on the sarcoma type you suffer from and its stage, your doctors, would decide on the most appropriate sarcoma treatment for you.
Where Does Soft Tissue Sarcoma Usually Develop?
There is no single location. Soft tissue sarcoma is a general term, under which we understand dozens of specific types of sarcoma cancer. Therefore, it may grow both in limbs and in the abdomen or neck.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in October, 2019.