Soft tissue sarcoma

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Survival statistics for soft tissue sarcoma

Survival statistics for soft tissue sarcoma are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for soft tissue sarcoma and what they mean to you.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer, but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

In Canada, a separate 5-year relative survival statistic is not reported for every type of soft tissue sarcoma. Instead, all types are grouped together under the general heading of soft tissue sarcoma. This statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual survival for the individual cancers within the group. The 5-year relative survival for all soft tissue sarcoma is 65%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma are 65% as likely to live 5 years or more after the diagnosis as people in the general population.

Survival by stage

Survival varies with each stage of soft tissue sarcoma. The location, grade and type of the sarcoma, as well as other factors, can also affect survival. Generally, the earlier soft tissue sarcoma is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome. However, soft tissue sarcoma may not be found until it is at a later or advanced stage, which can make it more difficult to treat.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages of soft tissue sarcoma. The following information comes from a variety of sources and may include statistics from other countries.

Survival for soft tissue sarcoma of the limbs
Stage5-year survival

1

90%

2

81%

3

56%

4

Not available

Survival for soft tissue sarcoma of the limbs is generally better than for soft tissue sarcomas that develop in the abdomen or retroperitoneum.

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your medical history
  • type of cancer
  • stage
  • characteristics of the cancer
  • treatments chosen
  • response to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

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