Cancer cells can spread from where the tumour started to other parts of the body and develop into a new tumour. This new tumour is called a metastasis or secondary tumour. If more than one tumour develops in another part of the body, they are called metastases.
Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. Some soft tissue sarcomas, especially high-grade tumours, can be very aggressive and are more likely to spread.
Soft tissue sarcoma spreads through the bloodstream. This means that it can metastasize almost anywhere in the body. If soft tissue sarcoma spreads, it is most likely to spread to the following:
Lung metastasis is more common with soft tissue sarcomas in the arms or legs. Liver metastasis is more common with soft tissue sarcomas in the abdomen and retroperitoneum. Lymph node metastasis is rare. It seems to occur more with certain types of sarcoma, such as rhabdomyosarcoma, epithelioid sarcoma and synovial sarcoma.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.